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Parking lot in land grab row

- Jusco lamp post within project area on Bistupur bypass raises eyebrows

An under-construction parking lot on Bistupur Main Road bypass, which had earlier drawn flak for narrowing down the artery and adding to congestion, has come under fresh glare for allegedly encroaching on prime land beyond its allotment.

The multi-layered parking project, being undertaken by private firm Teekay Enterprises Private Limited on a 0.75-acre plot leased to it by the East Singhbhum administration in 2007, has not only included a roadside drain within the boundary wall made of tin sheets, but also a Jusco lamp post.

Although the extra space that has been allegedly encroached is yet to be measured, local residents, shopkeepers and commuters say no less than 10 feet has been taken from the two open sides.

The private firm had begun work at the site, which comes under Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) in 2008, but following a directive from the state government, construction remained suspended for about one and a half years.

Work resumed a couple of months ago and now, the busy stretch, which witnesses a daily traffic flow of over 30,000 vehicles, has further narrowed down, leading to regular jam sessions.

“How can a private firm take a public lamp post inside its project area just like that? This is a gross violation of rules. Such illegal acts are eating on to road space and should not be tolerated,” said a local resident, Amritanshu Prasad.

Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) president Suresh Sonthalia was also surprised.

“The SCCI building (Chambers Bhavan) is located near the under-construction parking lot. Earlier, we couldn’t be sure whether the company had encroached on the bypass. Now, after seeing that the Jusco lamp post has been taken within the project area, we are certain that a considerable portion of the road has been encroached upon too. Jusco should take immediate action,” Sonthalia said.

Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said it was a serious issue if the lamp post had indeed been included inside the project area. “We will get the facts verified and take appropriate action against the company concerned if our lamp post and the road are found to be encroached upon. We will get the entire land measured,” he added.

Special officer, JNAC, Depak Sahay, however, said he was not aware of any encroachments on the bypass.

“We will get the matter probed and will take action if any violation has taken place,” Sahay said.

Balbir Singh, the director of Teekay Enterprises Pvt Ltd, however, said it was a temporary arrangement.

“We are getting an underground tunnel of Tata Steel, which runs inside the project area, shifted to a different spot. As there is a space crunch, we have erected an extra boundary wall and hence, the lamp post came inside our work area. Once the shifting is over, we will remove the tin sheds around the lamp post,” Singh said.