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R-Day debut for flyover

Call it a Republic Day gift for residents of the state capital.

Traffic snarls on Purulia Road and a portion of NH-33 will soon be a thing of the past once the much-awaited Rs 38-crore Namkum railway overbridge-cum-flyover, which passes over river Subernarekha, is inaugurated on January 26.

Governor Syed Ahmed will do the honours. The bridge, which was readied after repeated prods from Jharkhand High Court, is expected to end the daily traffic trauma of thousands of commuters who take the twin stretches — Purulia Road and NH-33 — to travel to and from Bengal and Jamshedpur, respectively.

“Governor Syed Ahmed will inaugurate the overbridge and flyover on January 26. We are finalising the nitty-gritty,” Rajeev Lochan, executive engineer of road construction department’s Ranchi National Highway wing, told The Telegraph.

Traffic snarls are a regular affair at Namkum railway gate (manned railway crossing) whenever trains pass by with vehicles, going towards and coming from Jamshedpur and Purulia, bearing the brunt. Besides, normal commuters, students of renowned schools like Bishop Westcott Boys and Bishop Westcott Girls are also inconvenienced.

The project had started way back in November 2008. The Ranchi NH division of state road construction department was the executing agency, which roped in construction firm Modi Projects Limited for the ambitious task that was supposed to be completed in 2010-11.

But a number of reasons — a hard rock in the river bed, a very old water supply pipe found on the Jamshedpur side, non-availability of land on time et al — are to be blamed for the inordinate delay.

Senior project manager of Modi Projects Limited Reji Kuriakose said the overbridge would be a two-lane thoroughfare with carriageway of 11 metres. As far as specifications are concerned, the bridge-cum-flyover has 21 piers with height varying between six and 18 metres.

Two roundabouts have been constructed — one on Ranchi side and the other on Namkum (Jamshedpur) side — to regulate flow of traffic. Besides, a two-lane service road has been readied on Namkum-end to facilitate easy movement of vehicles coming from the side of Bishop Westcott and Indian Oil Corporation depot.

Another service lane can be used by Jamshedpur and Ranchi-bound traffic.