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Sand block for bus stand

In Jharkhand, all good things must run into hurdles. The makeover project of Birsa Munda Interstate Bus Terminus in Ranchi is no exception.

Shortage of construction materials, especially sand, has slammed the brakes on renovation of the bus terminus located at Khadgarha near Kantatoli Chowk last September. Since then, no progress has been made on the Rs 9.74-crore project that was supposed to be completed by November this year.

With crucial time lost, the expenditure, which is being borne by the state urban development department, is now expected to shoot up while the 18-month completion deadline, fixed by Governor Syed Ahmed during laying of the foundation stone on May 30, 2013, appears difficult to meet.

“Renovation has been derailed for the moment. Hardly 10 per cent of work has been undertaken, which primarily includes cleaning a few areas, removing partial encroachments, laying of temporary cement roads and so on,” said R.S. Agarwal, proprietor of RS Agarwal Infratech, the agency that is repairing the bus stand on behalf of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC).

According to him, scarcity of sand was the biggest hurdle and despite numerous pleas to the district officials, no help came their way.

“Every time we approached the deputy commissioner or Ranchi Municipal Corporation, officials simply ignored our pleas. The government might have cancelled the sand auction process after a huge controversy, but it is yet to come out with a clear-cut policy on how sand mining will be done under panchayati raj institutions,” Agarwal said.

“Besides, there is the National Green Tribunal order that mandates environment clearances for sand lifting. Things are very complicated at this stage and no one wants to sort it out,” he added.

RMC, which owns the terminus, is hardly aware of the problems currently plaguing the bus terminus. “We are busy with streamlining cleaning works in the city and honestly, I don’t have any idea of the problems being faced by the agency that is renovating the bus terminus. I will hold meetings with the agency and review the work done so far,” said the civic body’s CEO Manoj Kumar.

Touted to be one of the major lifelines of interstate road transport, the terminus sees over 2,000 buses ply to and fro daily.

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