The red gravel lining, along a road near Nigam Park leading to Morabadi grounds in Ranchi, is all mucky on Thursday after the shower showdown. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Incessant rainfall since Wednesday night has drowned earnest efforts to fix all roads leading to freedom celebrations in Ranchi.
The district administration had on Tuesday pressed into service a dozen-strong workforce to clean, repair and beautify every arterial link to Morabadi, the venue for the official Independence Day function. These approach roads also include a 2.5km stretch from chief minister Hemant Soren’s residence to the parade grounds.
Following orders to the letter, the diligent workers laboured through Tuesday and Wednesday to remove shrubs, manicure medians and roadsides, and line them up with morum (red gravel). This makeover routine was carried out near Nigam Park, ATI Guesthouse, Ranchi College campus, Premsons Motors on Kanke Road and Sido Kanhu Park.
However, their labour was lost in the overnight downpour. The IMD office in Ranchi said that the city recorded 15.3mm rainfall between 5.30pm on Wednesday and 5.30pm on Thursday. Jamshedpur recorded 25.4mm on Thursday.
The civil contractor for the beautification job rued their luck. “The workers had had put in a lot of effort. Had it not rained, we would have completed the work by the first half today (Thursday). But now, we will have to redo the morum job,” he said.
A supervisor of the project said the gravel lining had been completely washed away near Nigam Park. “The entire area was waterlogged in the morning. We had to wait till 11am for the rain to stop after which we re-laid the morum. Beautification work done along the Sido-Kanhu Park stretch has been ruined too. We hope to fix the road by today,” he said.
R.K. Mahto, the forecast in-charge at Ranchi Meteorological Centre, maintained that scattered showers would continue for the next 24 hours.
Sadar SDO Amit Kumar stressed that the rain would not deter them from “re-beautifying the entire venue (Morabadi)” and its surroundings.
“From today, we are starting a very special programme. In the evening, jawans of JAP-V will present a musical march past. If everything goes according to plan, the programme will be held for 45 minutes from 5pm every Saturday. Today’s march will be a curtain raiser. So, beautification work will be completed by evening,” he said.
The SDO added that though the weather was playing a spoilsport, the Independence Day function would be held as planned. “Rain or shine, Morabadi grounds will look its best tomorrow (Friday).”