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Truck ban on Konar Bridge

- Red fear for diverted vehicles

Hazaribagh, May 6: Authorities in Hazaribagh have decided not to allow heavy vehicles on the dilapidated Konar Bridge on NH-33, which means a detour of over 200km for trucks using the busy stretch connecting the two state capitals of Ranchi and Patna.

According to a communiqué issued today by road construction department executive engineer Om Prakash Yadav to the district administration, the ban on heavy vehicles would come into effect within the next 48 hours.

While cars, mini buses and buses would still be allowed to use the Konar Bridge, heavy vehicles would have to take a detour that includes a stretch through a Maoist stronghold.

Sources explained that as of now, trucks coming from Patna or elsewhere on G.T. Road, come to Hazaribagh and takes the Konar Bridge to proceed towards Ranchi or Jamshedpur.

But now, these vehicles will have to take the Vishnugarh-Gomia route to Ramgarh and then take NH-33 again. Apart from the extra time, transporters will have to deal with security concerns as Vishnugarh is a Maoist stronghold.

Konar Bridge on NH-33 is 2km from Hazaribagh town and was built some 100 years back.

Yadav confirmed the pillars of the bridge had developed cracks and was no longer in a position to bear the entire load of daily traffic — anything between 30,000 to 40,000 small and big vehicles.

As for buses, sources in the road construction department said they would allow them for a while. But, if the condition of the bridge deteriorates, then they would be stopped too.

Construction of a new bridge adjacent to the old one in Konar started in February. The Rs 2.4 crore project will take another one and half years to complete.