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Toll road finds life in lane squeeze

A little compromise opens up an avenue of promise.

Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL), the special purpose vehicle burdened with the Rs 185-crore Tata-Kandra four-lane project since 2011, has decided to make do with inadequate land available along encroached lengths of the service lane to officially complete the toll artery between the two industrial towns.

Work on the service lanes along the 15km main carriageway, which had remained suspended since May, resumed on Saturday, said Vinod Tripathy, senior manager of JARDCL.

“We are overcoming (encroachment) hurdles by narrowing the service lane at some points. We will finish service lane work before the onset of monsoon,” he added.

According to Tripathy, work had been resumed “in the larger interest of the public” who would otherwise suffer inconveniences.

“Alongside service lanes we are also constructing drains in densely populated area. If drains are not built, there will be waterlogging, which in turn will trigger health problems. When the four-lane expressway is meant for better communication, it should not be a reason for inconvenience,” he told The Telegraph.

At pressure points like Sher-e-Punjab Chowk, Sathpathy Building, Chowdhury Building and Imlee Chowk, where work had been stopped owing to encroachment, both drains and lanes are being squeezed. While the new width of drains has been fixed at 2.5ft instead of the drafted 3ft, the service lanes there will be 14ft wide instead of 15ft.

The JARDCL is carrying out construction work at a “war-footing” and it is estimated that the service lanes would be ready by June 20, the projected date for the arrival of monsoon in Jharkhand.

Local residents heaved a sigh of relief.

“We have witnessed muck, waterlogging and horror every monsoon ever since the four-lane project began in 2011. It is such a relief to see that the road agency has resumed work along incomplete stretches,” said Ashwini Kumar who lives in Adityapur.

Om Prakash, the president of voluntary outfit Jan Kalyan Morch that fights for citizens’ rights, welcomed the JARDCL decision to make some compromises. “Construction of drains along the artery is a more welcome step,” he added.

The Tata-Kandra project, linking Jamshedpur to Adityapur industrial area in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, had begun in April 2011. Though the main carriageway was ready by December 2012, incomplete service lanes has so far taken a toll on revenue.


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