A part of the 5km smooth stretch of NH-33 near Pardih Kali Mandir on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Deadlines in Jharkhand are blissfully elastic, missing targets for years. When work gets done in less than half its allotted time, it is no less than the world’s eighth wonder.
But the miracle happened during the repair of a 5km stretch of NH-33 for which credit should go to governor’s adviser K. Vijay Kumar. Kumar, not known to mince words, inspected the potholed stretch between Kanderbera (Seraikela-Kharsawan) and Pardih Kali Mandir (Jamshedpur) on March 8 and expressed his disgust.
On that day itself, Kumar asked concessionaire Madhucon Projects to repair the 5km-stretch in a month. Among those present then were National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) project director Awadhesh Srivastava and road construction department principal secretary Rajbala Verma.
Madhucon, which started the repairs on March 9, completed the work on the evening of Thursday, March 21, a good 18 days before April 8.
On Friday, vehicles big and small were seen plying on the stretch comfortably.
Madhucon’s senior project manager Uday Kumar said they first laid the stretch with wet-mix macadam — a road base comprising crushed rock and slag with a controlled amount of water — and layered it with bituminous concrete.
The wet-mix macadam plugged potholes. Bitumen-concrete gave it strength
Right now, a mere 50m stretch before Pardih Kali Mandir needs bituminous concrete work. “We will do it in a couple of days,” said Kumar.
It also augurs well for Madhucon, which started an ambitious Rs 1,479-crore road project in November last year.
The firm needs to complete a four-lane from Ranchi to Mahulia (near Jamshedpur), a mega 163km project, within 30 months starting November 9, 2012. It will be the company’s onus to maintain the road for 15 years once the project ends.
In a separate development, acting on Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar’s complaint related to a 70km dilapidated stretch on NH-33 from Mahulia to Baharagora, NHAI director (projects) B.N. Singh came for an inspection from New Delhi on Friday. The stretch borders Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha. NHAI chief general manager (Jharkhand) Ravinder Kumar said Gammon India Limited would repair the stretch by June.
Will the fast-track highway repairs last till monsoon?