KENDRAPARA: Travelling on 55-km stretch of National Highway-5(A) from Duhuria in Kendrapara to Paradip has turned into a nightmare for motorists. With no traffic regulation, citizens are struggling to reach their destinations as it takes hours to cross the stretch, especially during peak hours.
An increasing number of iron ore-loaded trucks plying along the stretch to reach the port town from mineral-rich Keonjhar district has made life difficult for daily commuters. Massive traffic jams greet anxious commuters to board buses and trekkers on the highway.
Even the connecting roads at Marasaghai and Bhutamundei witnessed traffic jams. The highway has been experiencing massive snarls since last month after the transport of iron ore from Keonjhar to Paradip started.
ALSO READ: 55-km NH stretch chock-a-block
“Hundreds of stranded trucks turned the highway into a virtual parking lot. Drivers often violate traffic rules by parking the trucks on both sides of the NH. In about half a month, the highway has experienced at least 10 massive traffic jams extending up to several km,” said Giridhari Behera, a truck driver.
President of Kendrapara Citizen Forum Biswanath Behera said due to plying of thousands of iron-laden trucks from Keonjhar to Paradip covering about 200 km on the highway, people of the district have been facing problems. Around 3,000 trucks transport iron ore through the road daily, he added.
The 30-km stretch of Panchupandab-Marsaghai Road is not in a motorable condition, Behera said.
Some locals illegally constructed humps on the highway at Chagharia, Gopa Chowk, Silipur, Jadupur, Haladigada, Panchupandab and other places. These speed breakers have become deadly traps causing regular road accidents, said Basanta Das, a truck driver of Marsaghai.
“We have directed all the truck drivers to move on left side of the highway. Two police outposts have been set up on the NH to check movement of trucks. Actions are also being taken against the truckers who are violating traffic rules,” said Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Nikhil Patnaik.