The under-construction bus terminus at Khadgarha in Ranchi. Picture by Prashant Mitra
A deadline is another name for the dodo or the dinosaur if one goes by the Ranchi Municipal Corporation’s way of thinking.
The Birsa Munda inter-state bus terminus at Khadgarha, Ranchi, which was supposed to unveil a revamped avatar on August 15, will probably have to wait for another Independence Day.
On May 29, 2013, during the President’s Rule between Arjun Munda and Hemant Soren governments, Governor Syed Ahmed had laid the foundation stone for the revamp of the capital’s biggest bus stand worth Rs 9.74 crore. He had then given an 18-month deadline, that is, November 2014.
On June 18, 2014, RMC chief executive officer Manoj Kumar landed up at the site for an inspection and brought forward the deadline to August 15.
Calling it a “do-or-die” deadline, Kumar told a battery of accompanying mediapersons that he had solved all bottlenecks on the spot.
Almost two months from then and days away from Independence Day, the RMC CEO’s field inspection seems to be just another photo-op. The problems delaying the completion of the much-touted project stayed as they were.
“We can’t do anything. We also want to finish this work and push off for the next project, but provided the babus in the state allow us to work,” said a senior functionary of RS Aggarwal Infratech, which has been entrusted with the bus stand’s civil construction.
Asked about problems, the employee of the outsourced firm listed them one by one.
“The RMC is yet to acquire 60 per cent land and give it to us for work. On the site’s eastern side, they have not removed encroachments. A high-tension wire of 1,100 volt passes over the new building campus that prevents us from vertical expansion. A 40-feet boundary wall for a parking area is proposed for cars but the space belongs to public health engineering wing under drinking water and sanitation department,” the employee said.
He added that the RMC must sort out these issues first so that work could be done.
But, what about RMC CEO Kumar’s claim that all issues had been sorted out?
“True, during inspection everything was solved but verbally,” said the employee of the private vendor. “But, in case of government work, everything has to be written. Documentation has not happened. Encroachers have stayed put. So, after the photo-op, RMC has not walked the talk,” he alleged.
RMC CEO Manoj Kumar didn’t respond to calls. His deputy Om Prakash stayed mum. RMC spokesperson Naresh Sinha parried questions. “There were some issues with the public health engineering wing. We are looking into it.”