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Big plan, bigger drag

- RMC’s three makeover projects go slo-mo despite funds

The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) perhaps believes in announcement of projects, not in their execution.

Most of the civic body’s much-touted projects to beautify the capital continue to remain on paper for reasons best known to it.

A glaring example is the Birsa Munda Interstate Bus Terminus at Khadgarha near Kantatoli Chowk in Ranchi.

Revamp of the terminus was envisaged in September 2012 and the RMC received Rs 9.74 crore under the 13th Finance Commission. Private agency RS Agrawal Infratech was awarded the job to be completed in 18 months.

The RMC reportedly delayed paperwork and the project finally took off in May 2013. In seven months since, only 10 per cent construction has been completed.

Not only passengers, bus operators too are being greatly inconvenienced by this tardy pace of work. “What a mess it is here. Buses are parked on the roadside because construction materials are dumped everywhere. At this pace, I doubt whether the terminus will be ready in 18 years,” said Santosh Kumar Choudhary, a passenger.

The project was to be completed in two phases. In the first, an administrative building, a ticket counter and a bus bay are to be constructed. A two-storey office building, 429 shops (to be allotted later), a food plaza, workshop for repairing buses, accommodations for drivers and conductors and a lounge for passengers, besides a police station, are to come up in the second.

Rainwater harvesting and an underground water tank have also been promised.

“We were facing sand crisis. Besides, a couple of months ago, the terminus was flooded in heavy rain. These hampered the project. We are aware of the inconvenience being caused to citizens,” agency proprietor R.S. Agrawal said.

The proposed revamp of Daily Market on MG Road has met a similar fate.

A multi-storeyed shopping complex and a vegetable mart were proposed on an area of 2936.85sqm. It were to house a total of 319 new shops.

The RMC has 51 per cent stakes in the turnkey project, which will be sold to a buyer as one complete product.

The four-year-old project has had only one development till date — the same agency, RS Agrawal Infratech, has bagged the work order.

However, the company alone cannot be blamed for the project remaining a non-starter.

“The market is still occupied by around 400 vendors. It is RMC’s duty to relocate them and hand over the land to us. According to agreement, we will complete the work in six months. This project is worth Rs 15 crore,” Agrawal said.

The RMC is still struggling to find an alternative place for these vendors.

Another project caught in a limbo is renovation of Jaipal Singh Stadium.

In February this year, the civic body had released Rs 3.38 crore for its revamp. According to the blue print, prepared by city architect Chadda and Associates, the football ground, administrative building and players’ pavilion were to be given a new look.

Besides, a gym and a garden were promised on the sprawling nine acres. A vendor zone was to be constructed too so that roadside shops could be shifted to end traffic congestion.

A private agency, Yashasvi Infrastructure, won the project through an open tender. But like many other dream projects of the RMC, here too work is yet to pick up pace.

“Work on most projects could not start on time owing to heavy rain. But I assure you that by the end of March 2014, we will complete them,” said RMC chief executive officer Dipankar Panda.

Now, we all know for RMC it is easier said than done.

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