The long-standing demand of commuters for a flyover at Khandagiri Square will finally be met as the state government and the National Highways Authority of India will begin its construction by April.
Often dubbed as “deadliest zone”, “death trap” and “black spot”, the area had claimed 32 lives between 2013 and 2015 because of traffic congestion, poor maintenance and absence of road signage, triggering the demand for a flyover.
According to the transport department, if a place registers three or more accidents a year, it is termed as a black spot. The plan to construct a flyover at Khandagiri Square gained momentum last November after the intersection witnessed a number of accidents and got the “black spot” tag.
The Rs 115-crore facility will come up in the build-operate-transfer mode, as decided at a high-level meeting attended by chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi today. Another flyover at Gohira Square was also discussed at the meeting.
“We had hired a consultant, which gave us the flyover’s final design. Our headquarters approved it. The cost was fixed at about Rs 115 crore. Next, we will prepare the tender and hopefully finalise it and start work by April,” chief general manager of the NHAI, Odisha, Dharmananda Sarangi said.
Sarangi said the proposed four-lane flyover would be about 1.5km long.
“Khandagiri Square is one of the complicated intersections of the city. There is almost all the time a heavy flow of traffic – both of local as well as inter-state vehicles. We considered all the complicacies in mind and designed the flyover accordingly,” said the officer.
According to the design, there will be independent service and slip roads for the flyover. A service road is a stretch running parallel to a higher-speed, limited-access road.
On the other hand, a slip road is a stretch entering or leaving a motorway or dual carriageway. For the proposed flyover, the local vehicles will use the service roads, while those coming from the highway would use the slip roads. The slip road will allow these vehicles to enter and move out the highway.
At present, thousands of vehicles pass through the square. The intersection does not have proper signage or any other boards for road safety.
Commuters as well as local residents are happy at the move to build the flyover at the “black spot”. “There were a number of deadly intersections at Rasulgarh, Saheed Nagar and Acharya Vihar on the highway that runs through the city. The administration had already built flyovers to ease the traffic at these squares. However, they had left out the deadliest one at Khandagiri,” said Nayapalli resident Nihar Ranjan Mohanty, adding that the square could be considered as a death trap for commuters.
“On one side of the square, there are a number of educational and health care institutions, while on the other there are the ancient monuments of Khandagiri and Udayagiri. Its proximity to such landmarks makes the area one of the busiest zones in the city. The situations during the evenings are more problematic because of heavy traffic congestion,” he said.
Given the traffic snarl, especially during the evening hours, at the square, it is evident that eight traffic personnel deployed there to manage vehicles are inadequate.
“It is a good move of the administration to take up construction of the flyover at Khandagiri Square on a priority basis. It was a necessity since the junction had seen a lot of accidents and deaths in the past. Traffic congestion was already a problem on this junction. It is a mistake to take the route during evening due to the heavy traffic,” said Kiran Malhotra, a medical practitioner.
Courtesy: Telegraph India | Image: Orissa Post