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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Streetlights a pipe dream on 4-lane

Tall claims of an illuminated stretch soon notwithstanding, commuters will have to brave driving in pitch darkness down the 15km Adityapur-Kandra road till the end of March at least.

Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL), the firm given the contract of four-laning, and Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) have together put a question mark on when streetlights on the stretch would finally come on.

While JARDCL took its time to apply for power connection from JSEB, the latter is now moving at snail’s pace in processing the application.

Ten days ago, the JARDCL management had announced that it would start illuminating Adityapur-Kandra road in a week and getting the power connection from JSEB was only days away. However, the reality is giving power connection to the four-lane is not going to be possible before March-end.

Executive engineer of JSEB’s Adityapur division Mantosh Mani Singh said he had received the estimates for six distribution sub-station transformers (DDS) which need to be installed to supply power to the streetlights on Adityapur-Kandra road.

“I received estimates for the DSS and other necessary material from two assistant engineers and have sent the estimates worth over Rs 13 lakh to the superintending engineer (electrical) of Singhbhum Circle for approval,” he said.

Talking to The Telegraph, the executive engineer further pointed out that the estimates will be scrutinised by the superintending engineer, who will be sending back to the executive engineer, asking the JARDCL to submit the approved and estimated amount.

“Only after JARDCL deposits the estimated amount will JSEB purchase the equipment and grant connection,” the executive engineer said.

JARDCL senior manager Alok Mani said they were waiting for word from JSEB on the amount to be deposited. However, he was unaware about the status of his application.

“We have been informed by JSEB to wait for an intimation regarding the deposit. The moment we receive the approved estimate, we will immediately deposit the money,” Mani said.

But when asked why JARDCL left getting the power connection so late, the senior manager remained quiet.

According to JSEB officials, it will take at least 20 days to get the connectivity.

“When JARDCL knew it would need the connection, they should have applied long before construction of the road was completed,” observed the executive engineer.

In absence of streetlights, plying down Adityapur-Kandra road becomes downright dangerous at night.

“Unlike earlier, I am afraid of taking the stretch at night. If I have to go to Gamharia for work, I prefer to finish my work during the day. The headlights of heavy vehicles coming from the opposite direction plays havoc with my vision,” said Amit Kumar Sinha, a resident of Bistupur.

So far, six persons have died in mishaps on the road since its inauguration on December 31.