Rise in pressure on the 94km stretch of National Highway 80 because of increased traffic flow from Jharkhand has brought another round of cosmetic repairs, instead of a complete relay as demanded by the district’s residents.
The stretch between Ghorghat and Pirpainty is full of craters. A contractor said pressure on the stretch has increased because of rise in traffic flow from Jharkhand to cross the Vikramshila Ganga bridge to north Bengal and Northeast.
The quality of construction required was not followed in the 1990s when the stretch was made a part of the NH-80, he added.
Several employees of NTPC Kahalgaon, apart from people of Kahalgaon and Pirpainty, avoid visiting Bhagalpur thanks to the 500 or so ditches on the particular stretch.
The last repairs — filling ditches with boulders — on the 94km stretch was done three years ago. The effects wore off in three to four months, sources said. Accidents are common on this stretch with more than 12 deaths because of road accidents reported since 2012.
Recently, the state government called for the repair of this part of the NH-80.
S.N. Singh, superintendent engineer, NH-80, Bhagalpur division, National Highways Authority of India, said: “We only have the provision to repair this 94km stretch of NH-80. The stretch from Bhagalpur railway station to Bhagalpur engineering college (nearly 13km) would be widened by 10m. Work on digging ditches on both sides of the road has been started.”
In January, formalities to issue tender for the road’s repair with Rs 65 crore were completed. Eight construction agencies have been assigned the responsibility to complete repairs on as many stretches within March 2014.
The contractor assigned the responsibility for the Kahalgaon stretch has been directed to complete the repairs before April 7 in time for the Vikramshila Mahotsav (April 9).
He said: “What is need to waste such huge money on repair when it is not the permanent solution. The road would certainly be damaged in three-four months.”