The commute between Vizianagaram and Parvatipuram — a distance of roughly 75 km — has become a nightmare for motorists.
The condition of the road has worsened to such an extent that the commute between the two towns, which should ideally take less than two hours, now takes three-and-a-half hours.
Motorists say they cannot drive faster than 30-40 kmph, and have to slow down to a crawl every few hundred metres due to huge potholes. The absence of road markings is also proving to be dangerous for motorists, particularly at night, as the road is a single-lane highway with no dividers.
Though the government had laid new roads in many parts of the district, no work was taken up on this important route. The deterioration of the road is now resulting in long traffic jams and frequent accidents.
The rainy season only adds to motorists’ woes. Due to recent heavy rains in the district, the road has suffered even more damage in several parts.
“The road used to be in good condition earlier. But over the years, lack of repairs has left it in a dilapidated condition. The traffic jams and railway crossing at Manapuram add to the delay,” said Vangali Dalinaidu, a resident of Parvatipuram.
With APSRTC operating only limited services on the route due to COVID-19, many people are forced to use personal transport. “There is every chance of the vehicle breaking down on the highway due to the potholes. And in case of a breakdown at night, it is extremely risky as it is a single-lane highway. Riding two-wheelers on this route is very dangerous. It is unfortunate as this is an important route connecting Vizianagaram to Raipur,” said M. Janakiram Reddy, a resident of Vizianagaram, urging the government to take up immediate repairs in order to restore smooth flow of traffic.
Vizianagaram Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal said that repairs would be taken up on a war footing on all routes. “The main damage was done to R&B Roads. That is why we have sanctioned ₹10 crore for immediate repairs. The new roads will be laid after getting details from all places,” he said.
The Roads and Buildings Department and Panchayat Raj department have been directed to submit details immediately for the administrative sanction of funds for repairs. Senior officials will personally inspect the roads to identify major damages. They have been directed to submit a report on the repairs of important bridges located near Saluru, Bobbili and Parvatipuram.