A 10-minute dream smooth drive awaits harried commuters who spend an hour-and-a-half in travelling between All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Sonepur-Digha rail-cum-road bridge.
The Telegraph on Monday visited the construction site of 12-km-long elevated/semi-elevated road connecting the two points at Jalpura near Digha road and saw work going on in full steam. It seemed that work would get over much before its September 2016 deadline. Within seven months, of 2,700 pilings needed for the pillars, 1,100 have been completed.
Expressing his happiness over the speedy work, Mithlesh Kumar, a resident of Digha, said: “Work is going on in full swing and it would be boon for us once the road becomes functional, it will save our time. I hope the same kind of dedication and concentration is continued in the work till it gets over.”
This is the second biggest project of the road construction department after the Ganga driveway in Patna and it would come up on the western side of the capital.
A senior engineer at the construction site said: “Work is progressing fast and we would surely complete the project much before its deadline. We need to construct 700 pillars. We are done with 105. Work on the superstructure is going on as well.”
From the AIIMS-Patna side, the initial 3km of the road would have two lanes on a semi-elevated structure. It would culminate at the Bailey Road flyover between Jagdeo Path and Saguna Mor. The remaining portion of the road would be elevated and would have four lanes.
The engineer added: “Normally, constructing an elevated road takes less time than a bridge.
Parts of the road are constructed using pre-fabricated material. Only the pillars are constructed at the site. The main structure would be constructed elsewhere and assembled over the elevated road. From July 25, we would start work on erecting girders.”
Former chief minister Nitish Kumar had laid the foundation for the Rs 717.4-crore project on the premises of the Water and Land Management Institute (Walmi), Phulwarishari, on November 2, 2013.
This road would not only reduce the distance between AIIMS-Patna and Digha but also act as a fast connect.
People coming from outside Patna would be benefited, particularly once the Sonepur-Digha rail-cum-road bridge becomes operational.
Vehicles from north Bihar could use this bridge for a direct connectivity with the southern part of the city.
An executive engineer-rank official posted in Bihar State Road Development Corporation (BSRDC), a wing of the road construction department, said: “Our officials are keeping a close eye on this prestigious project. The road construction department has asked to monitor the schedule of the work strictly and keep close vigil on all issues to ensure that the construction company meets the deadline. They are working far ahead of the schedule and we are very happy with the agency.”
A few residents, however, have raised questions on Gammon India Limited, when the company was selected for the construction of the road citing a previous example.
“Many people had raised the issue and cited the example of the dilapidated Gandhi Setu, which was constructed by the same company. However, being the lowest bidder for the tender, the company bagged several other projects in Bihar,” said the official.