The road connecting Mangalpur and Tomka of Sukinda in the district is a death trap full of potholes all along its 45 km stretch.
The road is a busy patch as it is connected to the Sukinda Chromite valley. Heavy vehicles carrying chromite ore from the mining area of Kaliapani in the district to the state and even outside the state regularly use this road. The road, especially the stretch from Facor gate to Koliapasi Chhak, is in a bad shape. Traffic congestion has added the woe due to bad conditions, especially potholes, of the road.
It is a nightmare for the two wheelers and even pedestrians to travel through it. Mineral laden trucks are finding it difficult to navigate the gaping potholes. Ambulances, school buses and students are also finding it difficult to use the road. The potholes on the road have turned into death traps for motorists.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation of the Tamaka-Mangalpur to convert it into a four lane road during his visit to Sukinda area in Jajpur district after Nagada children malnutrition death news hogged the headlines in 2016.
Tender was invited for the construction of the road by the PWD. But the work was stopped later.
A dozen mine-owners of Sukinda Chromite mine valley are giving crores of rupees to the District Mineral Foundation Fund every year for developing the area.
But neither the district administration nor the PWD is concerned about the condition of the road. When the deplorable condition of the road came to the fore last year, the PWD had repaired the road temporarily using stone dust. But nothing changed.
In the rainy season, two wheeler accidents will be frequent as the motorcyclists will be unable to gauge the depth of potholes when they would be filled with muddy water. If the pre-monsoon repair is not carried out soon the situation would be worse. When contacted, a PWD official said they will start widening work after the monsoon this year.