An earthmover in action at the construction site near Luabasa, on the banks of Subernarekha , on Monday. Pictures by Animesh Sengupta
Construction of a new bridge over the Subernarekha is underway, raising hopes of a smoother ride to Galudih and Ghatshila from Jamshedpur once it is complete.
At present, the 16-year-old Mango bridge is the only link across the river. It shoulders the burden of 1.5 lakh vehicles daily, including trucks and trailers carrying industrial raw material from the city to Bengal and Odisha. An 80-year-old bridge next to the Mango link is used by pedestrians and two-wheelers.
Coming up 16km from the Mango bridges, the new link will not only lessen the burden of vehicular traffic on the old bridge, but would also come as a boon for people living in the congested eastern part of the steel city.
The bridge will connect Luabasa at the Jamshedpur end to Kastulia village across the river, from where a 4km road will lead to NH-33 and Galudih, 40km away. The 350m-long and 11.5m wide bridge will be built at a cost of Rs 10 crore and would bring down travelling time to Ghatshila, 50km away, by 15 to 20 minutes from the existing one hour when it is ready in two years’ time.
The bridge would be particularly convenient for commuters from Baridih, Telco, Kharangajhar, Burmamines and Parsudih headed for Ghatshila and beyond. It would also provide easy access to a bigger market in the city for vegetable growers from Galudih, Ghatshila and Mosabani who now cross the river by boat.
Along with the bridge, two new roads are also being constructed. On the Jamshedpur side, the road will stretch 8km from Luabasa to the chief minister’s house in Ghorabandha. Another 4km road will connect Kastulia to NH-33.
Speaking about the project, executive engineer of the rural development (special division) department Mahesh Kumar said the contract for the bridge was given in October to Chaibasa-based Satyam Constructions and work would be completed by end 2014.
“Work started on November 20, and if the pace remains the same, then we will be able to complete the project in the stipulated two years,” Kumar told The Telegraph.
At the moment two earth-movers have been pressed into service at either end of the proposed bridge. Dynamites are being used to break ground for the foundation of the bridge at the Luabasa end.
“Whenever we would go to Ghatshila, we would have to cross the Mango bridge, which is in the most congested part of the city. But once the Luabasa bridge is ready, we can say goodbye to that ordeal,” said Palash Kumar, a resident of Kharangajhar, Telco.
An employee of Tata Motors Limited, Kumar said people living in the eastern part of the steel city would not only have better access to picnic spots like Galudih and Ghatshila, but also beyond to Baharagora and Calcutta. They will also get fresh vegetables and marine products from Ghatshila subdivision easily.