Iron railings from the road divider jut out perilously on bridge on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad.
Akhara committees and devotees planning to joining the April 20 Ramnavami procession would do better to watch out for the damaged road divider on the Mango bridge, which pose a threat to vehicles and pedestrians alike.
The iron railings, which were installed by Jusco in November 2011 at the request of East Singhbhum traffic police, have been exposed to wear and tear. As a result, the railings have been broken at several places with jagged edges jutting out into the 800-metre-long bridge that connects Jamshedpur to Mango and NH-33.
The metal offshoots can cause serious accidents on the bridge through which more than 1,50,000 vehicles, including trucks and trailers, pass everyday. On the occasion of Ramnavami, as many as 70 Akhara committee processions, accompanied by martial arts display, would pass through the bridge.
There is always the risk that devotees might stumble onto the railings and get seriously injured.
Rambabu Singh, chief of East Singhbhum’s peace committee, pointed out that the administration must take immediate steps to repair the railings. “It is a serious problem. I have raised the issue with Dhalbhum sub-divisional magistrate. More than one lakh devotees use the bridge to watch Ramnavami immersions at various ghats along the Subernarekha. I hope the repairs are done before the procession,” he told The Telegraph.
Among the others who have lodged a complaint with the administration is Shiv Shastra Sena, a socio-religious organisation. The outfit has also threatened to block the bridge if the dividers were not repaired before the festivities.
“Damaged iron railings about 15 feet long fork out dangerously on the road. The processions would begin after dusk making it difficult for the devotees to spot the protruding metal rods,” said Shambhu Choudhary, the district president of the organisation.
Jusco expressed their willingness to repair the railings, but added that maintenance was never their brief.
“We built the divider on the request of the district administration so that traffic on the bridge can be streamlined. But, we cannot repair it on our own. If the administration requests us, we will carry out the repairs,” said spokesperson Rajesh Rajan.
Dhalbhum SDO Subodh Kumar promised to take up the matter urgently with senior officials of Jusco. “I will ask them to arrange for repairing the railings,” he said.