Commuters risk life and limb while negotiating the muddy stretch to Adityapur Toll Bridge. (Animesh Sengupta)
It’s stuff a motorist’s nightmare is made of — a half-a-kilometre stretch linking Kadma with the Adityapur toll bridge is testing every driver’s motoring skills on a daily basis, but the authorities appear in no hurry to set things right.
More than a year after the toll bridge was thrown open to the public, the half-a-kilometre link remains unmetalled. Used by residents of Kadma, Shashtri Nagar and Uliyan to access the important link to the industrial hub of Adityapur, the road is traversed by no less than 2,000 vehicles every day, including heavy ones.
The road, between Kerala Public School’s Kadma branch and the Outer Circle Road, has been witnessing 10 to 12 minor accidents every week, with two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws particularly vulnerable on the roller-coaster nature of the stretch.
While the condition of the road till Kerala Public School is good, beyond the point it is just a mud track that is becoming even more dangerous with every passing day as heavy vehicles churn up the loose soil, leaving craters in their wake.
It takes 10 minutes to negotiate the small stretch under normal circumstances, but when heavy vehicles cross, others have to wait as then there is little room to squeeze by.
“When the toll bridge was made operational in July last year, the stretch was motorable. But as heavy vehicles started plying, the condition of the road deteriorated. Now we think twice before using the stretch,” said Mohan Sharma, a resident of Bhatia Bustee.
Sharma added that recently a car’s tyre got stuck in the mud road and two auto-rickshaws overturned, leaving the drivers injured.
Regular commuter and Kadma resident Suresh Agrawal said ever since the toll bridge came into existence, they had benefited hugely as commuting time between his residence and the industrial hub had come down drastically.
“But of late, the stretch of mud road between Kadma and the toll bridge has become difficult to negotiate. It is also dangerous as the road runs along the Kharkai river. If a vehicle loses balance, it can land in the water,” said Agrawal, who runs a hardware store in Adityapur.
Kadma residents complained that utility company Jusco, which looks after roads in Tata Steel command area and beyond, has constructed and repaired several roads after the toll bridge was made operational, but had done nothing for this half-kilometre road linking Kadma to the bridge. “We fail to understand exactly why this stretch of road is neglected,” said one.
A Jusco spokesperson, however, said they had never neglected any road in the steel city.
“The stretch linking Kadma to the Adityapur toll bridge that passes in front of Kerala Public School will be constructed in due course,” said the official.