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Protest over potholes

Frequent mishaps on a battered 100-metre stretch of Jamshedpur’s Jemco Main Road prompted protests by local residents and traders on Friday morning.

The 200-strong mob blocked the Jusco-maintained 1km thoroughfare lined with around 50 business establishments and used by heavy vehicles ferrying consignments to companies like Lafarge Cements, Tata Power, Tata Motors and Tata Steel Tubes Division around 10.30am after a 25-year-old biker fell down after hitting a crater.

The agitators complained that mishaps were frequent on the road that had not been repaired in the past two years and is the sole connecting link to residential areas like Jemco, Azad Basti, Prem Nagar, Laxminagar, Bajrangi Bagan, Jhagru Bagan, Mishra Bagan, Ramadhin Bagan and Manifit.

“The potholes make it extremely difficult to commute, especially on the 100-metre stretch. There are bike mishaps almost every alternate day. It is also tough to run our businesses due to air pollution caused by dust coming out from the potholes soon after a vehicle crosses,” rued Bachan Singh, a partner in Khalsa Motors, a transport contractor.

The two-hour blockade ended after Telco officer-in-charge Kamleshwar Pandey intervened and assured the protesters that Dhalbhum SDO had been asked to take immediate steps to repair the busy stretch.

The police also arranged temporary filling of potholes with fly ash.

Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said the road was built and repaired with funds contributed by industries using it. “The road was built six years ago and initially repaired with contribution from Tata Power, Lafarge and Tata Motors. However, we will definitely take up repairs on a priority basis,” he promised.