Illegal parking of vehicles at Manguli Square in the outskirt of the millennium city over National Highway 16 has made the stretch accident prone and claiming lives of commuters in the region.
The NH 16, is one of the busiest and a major National Highway in India that runs along East Coast of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Unauthorised parking of vehicles besides shops and hotels on NH-16 stretch at Manguli Square connecting Cuttack and Balasore has become death traps also causing traffic snarls and congestion.
Notably, according to the NCRB 2019 report released recently, 5333 persons died in road accidents in Odisha in 2019. The Cause - wise analysis of fatal road accidents revealed that 55.7% (86,241 out of 1,54,779 deaths) and 27.5% (42,557 out of 1,54,779 deaths) of fatalities in road accidents were due to over-speeding and dangerous/careless driving or overtaking respectively, stated the NCRB report 2019.
Reports suggest that, at least five people have died and many have been critically injured in past six months on the NH-16 stretch. Illegal parking over the NH is also one of the reason behind accidents as vehicles rammed into the stationary vehicles parked on the NH, causing fatalities. Thriving illegal scrap business besides the NH is a major cause of concern.
The locals claim to have informed the district administration about the unauthorized parking and illegal business beside the NH, but in vain. “Illegal scrap business and garages including small hotels have come besides the NH leading to unauthorized parking of vehicles. This has led to rise in accidents, but no steps are being taken to remove the encroachment or stop parking on the NH. The illegal shops are also reason behind rising crime over NH,” said a local.
After much hue and cry, the RTO had issued show cause notice to the shop owners, but no steps were taken to stop parking of vehicles, said sources.
When approached for a comment on the issue, the Police, NH Officials and RTO officials refused to speak on the issue.