One of the three fissures spanning the width of a lane on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
This may be a first even for Jharkhand.
Cracks are already showing on the spanking new Adityapur-Kandra four-lane, even as chief minister Arjun Munda prepares to inaugurate his pet project on December 31.
The showpiece 15.3km artery, costing Rs 185.5 crore and being constructed on PPP mode by Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL) on the road construction department’s behalf, has three deep cracks on one of its Bistupur-Adityapur stretches.
The triple shame zone lies in a 100-metre stretch along Adityapur’s S-Type area. The 18-feet-wide lane, with one foot of space on both sides, has three 0.5cm wide cracks, all about a foot deep, two covering the entire width, one shorter.
The cracks have made the multi-crore four-lane a laughing-stock among residents.
“What is the point of spending crores of public money if cracks form on a road even before its launch? They will widen in monsoon. Plus, commuters will have to pay toll,” said shopkeeper Ashok Modi.
But JARDCL, a subsidiary of construction major Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services, does not think it is a major problem. “We are aware of cracks. They develop on the cemented surface if the road is constructed during cold weather. We will seal them up soon. There is no problem,” Alok Mani, senior manager of JARDCL, told The Telegraph.
The Adityapur-Kandra four-lane project was aimed at providing, among other things, better access to Adityapur industrial area from Jamshedpur on one end and linking NH-33 and Chandil on the other. The project started in June 2011 and eyed an April 2013 deadline.
As of now, work on the four main carriage lanes is complete, while service lanes on either side of the quartet are under construction. Toll will only be taken from commuters using the main carriage lanes.
Sanjay Kumar Singh, executive engineer, road construction department (Seraikela division), which is exercising jurisdiction over the four-lane project, preferred diplomacy.
“We can’t say anything on the hows and whys of cracks on the four-lane as JARDCL looks into quality control. Our department has no role to play,” he said.
His superior, superintending engineer of road construction department R.P. Mandal, added that if a road developed even a hairline yet deep crack during construction, the portion needed to be dismantled.
“Cracks widen under pressure of rainwater and heavy vehicles. Eventually, the road gets damaged,” he said.
Whether the cracks are due to a technical fault or substandard construction, it seems the buck stops with JARDCL.