NHAI Neglects Highways

Quality of National Highways in Odisha has deteriorated substantially because of inadequate allocation of fund for improvement, repair and period renewal.

In fact National Highways were smooth for driving as earlier funds flow was smooth and care was taken for repair and maintenance.

Now it has drastically gone down as most of the National Highways have turned “Death Traps”, allege Peoples’ Representatives.

Take for example National Highway (NH)-143 Biramitrapur to Barkote. Entire stretch is in a distressed condition. Several places have developed pot holes and causing slow down of running of heavy vehicles and rise in accidents.

Similarly NH-49, running from Sambalpur to Jamsola is in similar distressed condition and the road is not in a motorable standard as per NHAI norms, alleged Lawmakers from Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.
The stretch of NH- 49 in Keonjhar district has become a death trap and is in dire need of repair.
Heavy traffic on this dilapidated road has been causing frequent accidents due to which it has turned into a death trap.
Local citizens including BJP party leaders have met the authorities demanding urgent repair and make the road motorable for common commuters.
Realizing the importance of this highway and considering heavy traffic, the Central government had decided it to four-lane the stretch. The tender for the work was given to a firm called Monte Carlo.
The company has set its camp on the site and is busy felling trees from the road side.  While this exercise has been going on for months, the highway authorities have stopped work to repair the road.
The 110 KM stretch of the highway from Turumunga to Binjabahal is in bad condition making it difficult for buses and passenger vehicles to ply safely.
At least four people have been killed and 45 injured in road accidents on the highway under the Sadar police limits in the last few weeks. Similarly, 17 accidents occurred under Kanjipani police station limits killing five and inuring 25 persons.
It takes more than 3 hours to cross the 20 km Kanjipani Ghat stretch instead of 30 minutes earlier. Frequent traffic jam also adds to the misery of travelers on the road.
The District BJP Unit had submitted a memorandum to the District Collector recently in this regard.
Besides, different social forums have threatened to stage mass agitation if the road repair work is not started on a priority basis.
The Lawmakers have time and again brought to the notice of the Minister Commerce & Transport as road accidents on the NH has gone up.

National Highway running between Chandikhole to Talcher is in a sorry state.

The NH-53 is not in traffic worthy condition as repair and maintenance are not being taken up due to poor funds flow.

The NH-520 from Remuli to Rajamunda is in a distressed condition and it has turned a “Death Trap”

Improvement work on these Highways is not taken up and in some cases after lot of persuasion improvement work has just started recently in some patches of NH.

Ministry of Highways and Road Transport (MoRTH) has declared several State Highways as National Highways.

However development works in these major roads are not taken up to take those roads to NH level.

Three years ago Kuakhia-Jajpur-Aradi-Satabhya State Highway was declared as National Highway-20.

Similarly Cuttack-Jagatisnghpur-Balikuda-Nuagaon Highway was declared as NH-55 in 2015.

But till date no development has taken place for which the entire tracks in not in a motorable position.

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is not taking up any development work on these stretches.

During 2015, 2016 and 2017 at least 13 Major State Highways have been declared as National Highway in Principle by MoRTH.

Though at least 8 Detailed Project Reports (DPR)s have been submitted to the MoRTH for approval and no decision is being taken by the Ministry for which no developmental work is being taken up on the roads for years together.

As these Highways are declared as NH, State authorities are not taking up any improvement so these roads have turned “No Man’s Land” and deteriorating fast due to heavy traffic, admit officials.

As the MoRTH is taking up more and more State Highways in other States and declaring as NH, accordingly a proposal was recommended by the State Government to the Ministry for 30 State Highways covering 2480 Kilometers to declare as NH during 2016.

After nearly one and half years, no decision has been taken by MoRTH regarding the proposal, said sources.

And nobody knows when the decision will be taken in this raged so these Highways will be declared NH and developmental works will begin, admit officials.

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