**Puri:** The recent accident of the luxury car BMW claiming one youth has raised concerns regarding the safety during a drive on the Puri Konark NH, as each year a number of accidents are reported due to the speedy plying to the vehicles on that road. The NH passes through the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) and then through the Balukhanda-Konark wildlife sanctuary.
The Marine Drive Road lacks proper illumination, having less signages and even some blind spots which enhances the number of accidents on that road.
“The signages are too small and there are no street lamps in this road, although it is tourist place. We locals also fear going this way at night as it is too dark with no lights,” informed Shyam Sunder, a villager.
According to H.B Udgata, Divisional Forest Officer, Puri Wildlife Division, “The youngsters don’t take heed of the signages on the road and speed their vehicles, as there is no speed breakers on the road.
We had a monitoring committee meeting of the ESZ of the Balukhanda-Konark wildlife sanctuary held on 11th of this month under the chairmanship of Puri Collector to discuss the movement of the vehicular traffic at night. It was decided unanimously to impose certain restrictions like, After 8 pm, no truck will be allowed to ply on the Puri-Konark marine drive NH. After 10 pm, movement of all the buses will be stopped on the abouve road. Speed limit of all vehicles will remain within 40 km/hr.”
Morevoer, it was also decided that signages will be posted at strategic locations at regular intervals to deter speeding vehicle as an awareness measure to reduce accidents at wildlife crossing points on the possible turns, spots of feeding and drinking and will also erect movable barriers at black spots on the Puri-Konark NH discussing with the local forest officials. Anyone violating the instructions will be penalised as per the provisions of Odisha Motor Vehicle Act.
Though these proceedings were decided in the meeting, it is still to be executed in a full fledged manner.