Repair work in progress on NH-33 in Kanderbera on Tuesday. (Animesh Sengupta)
The Jamshedpur division of the state national highways wing on Tuesday began repair work on the pothole-ridden 9km stretch of NH-33 linking the steel city with Kanderbara that has been deteriorating with every shower.
Commuters crossing the highway between Pardih Kali Mandir in Jamshedpur and Kanderbera in Chandil sub-division of Seraikela-Kharsawan will have to be content with the stopgap measure, with the authorities pointing to funds crunch as a stumbling block.
Jamshedpur-based Leading Construction Private Limited, which has been engaged for the repair work, pressed into service four rollers and three earthmovers.
The leg of NH-33, which links Jamshedpur to the state capital, has witnessed a spurt in accidents after potholes started resurfacing following a round of repair work earlier this year.
Executive engineer of Jamshedpur division of NH Amarnath Thakur said the previous repair work lasted from April till June-end.
“But after the monsoon rains, the potholes reappeared. We had spent an insufficient amount of around Rs 1.15 crore on repairs of a 20km stretch. Now, our plan is to repair the worst affected areas once again and at least make the highway motorable,” he said.
The official said that paucity of funds was affecting full-fledged repair work on NH-33. “We are not getting funds from the Centre, as the four-laning project of NH-33 from Ranchi to Jamshedpur will begin soon. But until then, we have to make NH-33 motorable,” said Thakur.
He added the authorities had set a target to complete the fresh repairs within 20 days.
“According to the tender, the estimated cost of the repair work is Rs 2.62 crore. We will use bitumen to fill the potholes. Since the craters develop due to accumulation of water, we have decided to create slopes on both flanks of NH-33 so that the water drains out,” added Thakur.
A source in the Jamshedpur division of NH admitted these were the best measures they could take to avoid the wrath of senior government officials who frequent the stretch.
“With a meagre amount, we can’t undertake large-scale repairs. We are awaiting the start of four-laning work by the National Highways Authority of India,” said the source.
Chandil police station officer K.N. Mishra said accidents had increased as a result of the potholes on NH-33, hoping the patchwork would keep mishaps in check.