A murky puddle forms on construction rubble left unattended by Jusco on the side of Arun Road in Sakchi.
Picture by Bhola Prasad
It’s a civic blot in the heart of Jamshedpur. Commuting on a 100-metre stretch linking commercial hub Sakchi to Kalimati Road in Kasidih, which also connects a women’s college near the police station, is like practising for a hurdles tournament.
Arun Road, used by hundreds of girls of Graduate School College for Women, as well as countless people bound for the town bus terminus, Sakchi thana and Karim City College, is an open invitation to mishap, thanks to boulders, cement slabs and construction material left unattended.
Pedestrians apart, the road also sees 30,000 vehicles a day, who are equally at risk.
Whether on feet or wheels, people have to dodge the boulders, elevated cement structures and construction material hogging the sides of the road.
All these items are leftovers of construction materials used for Tata Steel boundary walls around the area the company acquired for expansion plans after demolishing its flats.
The boundary walls were completed a month ago. But Jusco, entrusted to set up the walls, left boulders and construction materials on the roadsides.
“This is not something we expect from Tata Steel that is known to accord top priority to safety. They asked their subsidiary Jusco to construct the wall. Logically, Jusco should have cleared road space. However, that did not happen. Often, two-wheelers lose balance due to boulders and cement structures, particularly after sunset,” said Mahesh Sinha, a Kasidih resident who owns a cloth retail outlet in Sakchi.
The stretch has sodium vapour streetlights but they are not bright enough to show cement boulders at night.
“Day or night, having to avoid boulders while negotiating with traffic is a nightmare. We use this road between our college and Sakchi bus terminus. Who knew walking could be so risky?” said Geeta Sharma, an undergraduate of Graduate School College for Women.
Tata Steel head of corporate affairs and communication, Ashish Kumar said he was aware of the problem. “I have already spoken to Jusco senior officials to remove the obstructions immediately for easy passage of commuters,” the spokesperson said.