Staff Reporter

Planners forget to earmark easy passages to cross the road, say many walkers

Most of the roads being converted into one-way roads

Need for foot-over-bridges stressed

BHUBANESWAR: The beautification of median along the four-lane road from Jayadev Vihar to Infocity may be soothing to eyes, but pedestrians feel that they have been ignored by planners who have forgotten to earmark ‘easy’ passages for crossing the road.

An ambler, who wants to cross the much-talked road of the city, will have to walk a fair distance before he could find a cut to go to the other side of the road.

Moreover, the cuts are meant for only vehicles as they don’t have any zebra painting, dedicated passage for walkers.

At any given point of time, one could find people hopping the raised median. In the process they make themselves accident-prone. Those who frequently go to Fortune Tower, the building that houses many corporate offices, find it inconvenient to walk down the distance every time they want to cross the road.

“The administration should have devoted some passages for pedestrians. The cuts are not always manned by traffic personnel. It is difficult to cross through the cuts as those small passages are jammed with vehicles,” says Srikant Behera, a pedestrian.

Heavy traffic

With the 13-km road from Airport to Raghunathpur increasingly receiving heavy traffic, the engineers should have thought of some provisions for pedestrians.

This is not the only road patch that has been made one way. Most of the roads of the capital city are now being converted into one-way roads.

Even as Bhubaneswar has been ranked as sixth fastest growing city in the country, nobody has thought of putting up foot-over-bridges.

During the last three days, two persons were killed and two others critically injured when they were trying to cross the NH-5 that passes through the city. Had there been foot-over-bridges or dedicated passage for walkers, at least the lives could have been saved, says Surendra Mishra, another pedestrian. Many cuts along the National Highway, Janpath and Cuttack-Puri road have been closed. Work is under way to raise median along the road stretches.

This may prove beneficial for those driving down the city road, but the walkers seem to have been given a raw deal in the entire exercise. Till date, Bhubaneswar has only one subway between Rajmahal Square to AG Square, which is dedicated for amblers. Since the administration has failed to close an illegal passage over the subway, it is not frequently used. When asked, Aparajita Sarangi, Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, admits that foot-over-bridges are required at many places. “Plans are afoot to set up some of those bridges near busy locations,” she says.