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Smooth drive next monsoon

Expect your travel travails on Marine Drive to be washed away by next monsoon.

Gaping potholes and craters on the 9.7km stretch along Subernarekha and Kharkai rivers, which links the steel city with Adityapur toll bridge, will be plugged by June, 2014.

Tata Steel is sponsoring the repairs of over Rs 100 crore. Work started in November.

A Calcutta-based road construction company, BLA Group, has been entrusted with the task to complete the mega project. But a spokesperson of the steel major said that work got delayed due to the incessant rain that lashed the city even after monsoon left.

“Initially, there were plans to complete the road by March next year, but thanks to prolonged monsoon, work got affected. By June, we will complete the job,” he added.

The revamped Marine Drive will have pathways, pavements and enough number of lights. Besides, the entire stretch will boast greenery.

A representative of the private agency said the height of the road would be increased by around 5 feet.

“We are increasing the height of the road so that it does not hold water. It will also increase the longevity of the stretch,” he said.

Besides repairs, reconstruction of the road from the toll bridge-end has also begun.

At present, Marine Drive is a motorist’s nightmare with gaping potholes, craters and garbage mounds dotting the entire stretch, starting from the River Pump House in Sakchi to the toll bridge.

Commuters have a harrowing time negotiating the craters. Mishaps are frequent too.

The much-touted road, which acts as a connector between the Adityapur industrial area and Mango, took a beating once the toll bridge was made operational in July 2011.

It was found too fragile for heavy vehicles. Thus, trucks and trailers started plying on city roads, thus increasing chances of accidents.

Once the makeover is complete, Tata Steel officials believe Marine Drive will be strong enough for heavy vehicles. Residents will be relieved too.