The damaged trailer near Adityapur-Kandra Road on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
A 15km stretch of the newly constructed Tata-Kandra four-lane road is giving motorists nightmares.
The road, which has come up at a cost of Rs 185.5 crore, isn’t punctuated with enough “breaks” or crossing to facilitate U-turns. This apparent design flaw — the breaks are too few and far between, at least 1.5km — has pushed up the mishap count to almost two daily with heavy vehicles often getting on the wrong side of the road to save time and fuel.
A particular five-kilometre stretch of the four-lane road, between Adityapur Toll Bridge and Gamharia Market, has proved to be the most dangerous.
A trailer, while hurtling down the wrong side of the road on Thursday morning, rammed a cemented barrier and overturned. The driver, however, managed to leap out of his vehicle moments before impact and escaped with minor injuries.
Thursday’s mishap was one of the many that the stretch has witnessed over several days.
On Wednesday night, a dumper rammed a cemented platform on the road near the toll bridge crossing, damaging the structure and destroying the vehicle completely. The driver managed to escape without any injuries.
Sources said heavy vehicles coming out of industrial units of Adityapur are the worst offenders. Instead of keeping left and then taking a U-turn after a kilometre or so, these trucks hurtle down the wrong side, facing oncoming traffic and risking the lives of hundreds on two or four-wheelers.
“There are no traffic rules on the Tata-Kandra Road. Drivers have to be alert throughout the stretch and dodge vehicles coming from the wrong side,” said a senior official of Gamharia-based Metalsa India who uses the stretch daily.
He called it a design flaw that needed to be rectified soon.
Executive engineer of the road construction department (Adityapur division) Sanjay Kumar Singh admitted there was a problem, but chose to pass the buck.
“It is something that the district administration should take care of. Police need to raise the issue before the administration and Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited. Unless that is done we cannot take any action,” Singh told The Telegraph.
Seraikela-Kharsawan DSP Upendra Kumar also tried to wash his hands of the problem.
“The police have not constructed the road. If there are a lack of crossings then the road construction department should look into the issue,” he said, adding that earlier mishaps occurred due to the road’s poor condition.
“However, mishaps continue to occur even after the road has been widened and repaired. It is a new road. People will take sometime to get accustomed to driving on it,” the SP said, adding that they had deputed policemen at strategic locations to prevent accidents.