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Halogen glow for Marine Drive

There is finally light at the end of the dark tunnel for those living along the Marine Drive.

A day after The Telegraph carried a report on how the delay in widening a 10km stretch of the road, part of the Rs 120-crore western corridor project of Tata Steel, is inconveniencing local residents as one portion of the dual carriageway is dusty and the other dark, the authorities swung into action to address the citizens’ gripe.

Tata Steel started installing halogen lamps on electric poles near residential complexes along the stretch on Friday even as East Singhbhum additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Ganesh Kumar wrote to its managing director T.V. Narendran, asking him to expedite widening work and install temporary lights.

Kumar also asked Dhalbhum subdivisional officer Prem Ranjan to hold talks with Tata Steel and local slum-dwellers for removing encroachments.

Widening work of the dual carriageway had started in 2012 and was expected to finish by June this year. But, as of now, vehicles are able to ply only on one congested side while the other is under construction and hence, uneven and strewn with bolders.

“We have already started installing halogen lights on existing electric on one side of the carriageway that is being currently used. As many as 10 lights were put up near Srinath Residency and Vijaya Heritage today (Friday),” said a senior official of Tata Steel logistics department.

He, however, added that it was a stopgap arrangement and they would install permanent street lights once the dual carriageway was ready.

“We are confident of completing the dual carriageway by October. Once the road is ready, we will fix proper streetlights across the Marine Drive on the median of the dual carriageway,” he added.

What about the bolder-riddled stretch that is kicking up dust?

“We have pressed water tankers into action to spray water and settle the dust on the under-construction flank. Water is being sprayed every two hours,” the official added.

Over 20 residential complexes, including posh addresses like Vijaya Heritage, Srinath Residency and Awas Marina, as well as MIG homes and urban slums dot the dusty stretch.

ADC Ganesh Kumar expressed concern over the residents’ woes, voicing fears about pollution.

“It is a serious issue as has been reported in the media. We have asked Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board regional officer R.N. Choudhary to file a status report on air pollution at Marine Drive within a week,” Kumar said.

Once ready, the Marine Drive will link Adityapur Toll Bridge and Mango bridge.

Do you think the carriageway will be ready by October?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com