Odisha: Locals protest against bad highway

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Report by Akshya Rout, Jajpur: Around 3000 locals on Thursday blocked the national highway at Pankapala and Bramahani Setu demanding the repair and widening work of the Chandikhola to Sukinda highway immededely . They also blamed the National Highway Authorty of India (NHAI) for the poor road condition .

Vehicular traffic was halted around four hours due to road blockade. Sukinda MLA and BJD leader Pritiranjan Ghadei , his father and former minister Prafullla Ghadei and other local BJD leaders also joined in the road blockade and addressed the agitators.

“We blocked a stretch on the road to draw the attention of the NHAI about the poor condition of the road. Last month we urged the officials of NHAI to strat the work. But the officials did not pay any heed to our pleas for which we blocked the highway ” said Pritiranjan Ghadei the MLA of Sukinda. Former Finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei also joined in the protest meeting.

“ Two months back , I had written a letter to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and urged him to expedite the four-laning work .But the work is yet to be started . In many places the NH is in bad shape due to NHAI ‘s habitual neglect.

The recent heavy and continuous rain has exposed the sub-standard quality of road works executed by the NHAI road . Many of the roads, which were repaired recently, have been damaged in the rain that lashed the area in the past couple of weeks.The quality of work is so bad that due to incessant downpour , the potholes have again opened
up. Roads have been damaged to such an extent that people have to literally wade through slush during rain, said Prafulla Ghadei.

Senior officials of NHAI and the ADM of Kalinganagar rushed to the spot and assured the agitators that the NHAI will soon start the road work.

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