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Snarl-buster flyovers a non-starter

- Road construction department officials clueless, high court seeks status of DPRs

Jharkhand’s infamous culture of all things good getting buried even before birth seems to have caught up with an ambitious flyover project in the capital that was mooted by former chief minister Arjun Munda in 2012, but now has been forgotten by the state.

Two years after more than Rs 90 lakh was spent to prepare detailed project reports (DPRs) for constructing the overhead bypasses at Albert Ekka Chowk, Sujata Chowk and Lalpur Chowk to decongest city arteries, there is no trace of work being undertaken anywhere. What’s more surprising is that road construction department officials could not say anything about the status of the three flyovers, whose cumulative cost was pegged at Rs 477 crore in 2012.

The matter has even drawn the attention of Jharkhand High Court, which yesterday asked the government to inform about the status of DPRs. The court issued the order during the hearing of an PIL filed by one Ashish Kumar Singh.

However, engineer-in-chief Ram Naresh Raman is clueless. “I cannot tell what happened to the project or where they are stuck. There has been no discussion on the flyovers within the department in the recent past. But we completed the technical part of the job way back,” he said.

Munda had announced the projects on October 26, 2012, and set a deadline of 2014-15. While the first flyover was to connect Urdu Library on Main Road with Jaipal Singh Stadium on Kutchery Road, the second would link KC Roy Memorial Hospital at Dangratoli Chowk to the employment exchange office before Kutchery Chowk. The third one was mooted between Kadru Chowk near Big Bazaar and Raj Hospital on Main Road.

It was also decided that State Highways Authority of Jharkhand, headed by road construction principal secretary Rajbala Verma, would build the flyovers.

Sources said that the advance planning section of Central Design Organisation under road construction had coughed up Rs 90 lakh for the DPRs. “The task of preparing the DPRs was completed in 2012 itself. While Pune-based SUNCON Engineers Private Limited prepared the DPRs for the links at Sujata Chowk and Lalpur Chowk, Bangalore’s SECON Private Limited did the same for Albert Ekka Chowk,” said executive engineer Abinash Dipak.

But that was all. No one could say what happened to the DPRs thereafter or why work did not start. Some of these questions might be answered at the next court hearing on March 24 when Verma is expected to table a reply.


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