Chief minister Arjun Munda inspects the road widening work at Kanke in Ranchi on Tuesday. Telegraph picture
When citizens complain, a CM listens. At least if he is Arjun Munda.
Jharkhand’s pro-people chief minister hit the road — a squelchy one at that in Kanke — on Tuesday to dig deep into the delay in completion of widening work that had left communication lines busted in the capital locality for over six months.
And quickly realising that a host of lapses on the part of his government, including lack of coordination between various departments, was holding up the project, Munda issued a series of deadlines to expedite work.
Kanke Road, which is also the address of the chief minister’s official residence, is part of the Rs 450-crore NH-33 expansion project, which is slated for completion in July.
However, The Telegraph last month voiced the gripe of several local residents who said tardy progress was disrupting telephone and water connections.
During the spot inspection, Munda found out that there was little coordination among road construction and drinking water and sanitation departments, the Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
As a result, electricity poles continued to hinder widening work. Besides, Montecarlo Construction Limited — the private company entrusted with the task of four-laning the Ranchi-Patratu NH-33 stretch of which Kanke Road is a part — has dug up several pockets, damaging phone cables and water pipelines.
An upset Munda directed road construction secretary N.N. Sinha, who was accompanying him on the recce, to complete expansion of the Ranchi-Patratu Road as soon as possible. He also asked Sinha to ensure proper drainage in the area within 22 days.
“The CM has directed the road construction department to work in three shifts to remove electricity poles, redo telephone cables and repair damaged drains on Kanke Road. Raw material heaped on the roadside will also have to be cleared to ensure smooth traffic flow,” an official at the CMO said.
Realising that inadequate communication between different districts had slowed down the road project, Munda issued a fiat to deputy commissioners concerned to bridge the gap.
He asked the road department to upgrade drainage system along NH-33 — from Kantatoli Chowk to Jumar rivulet on the outskirts of Ranchi, a stretch of 10km — within 20 days. The JSEB has been told to shift electric poles to facilitate this revamp.
CMO officials said Munda has further ordered the JSEB to relocate as many as 60 electricity poles along Kandra-Adityapur Road near Jamshedpur, which is also being widened.
The chief minister was accompanied by his principal secretary D.K. Tiwari, drinking water and sanitation secretary Sudhir Prasad and JSEB officials, besides road construction secretary Sinha.
Do you think Munda’s actions will end Kanke’s woes?