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Bridge yet to see light of night

Patna, Aug. 22: Commuters on Rupaspur-Bailey Road railway overbridge drive slowly after dark. For, the newly inaugurated bridge is plunged into darkness after sunset.

Seventy-four lampposts with 148 bulbs have been installed along the length of the bridge. However, they are yet to get power connection.

As a result, the stretch has become an accident-prone zone. Commuters have to be extra cautious to avoid a mishap. Even then, accidents are occurring. Today, a biker, who had got on the bridge from the Bailey Road side, jumped the road onto the pavement. Thankfully, neither the biker nor anyone else suffered any injury.

Patna Electricity Supply Undertaking (Pesu) officials claim they can easily provide electricity connection to the overbridge. However, they must first receive an application from the age- ncy concerned.

S.K. Srivastva, superintending engineer, Pesu, Patna (west), told The Telegraph: “The department has not received any application either from the East Central Railway (ECR) or the road construction department to provide electricity connection.”

He added that Pesu could provide power in a day if it receives applications.

When The Telegraph contacted Pratyay Amrit, the principal secretary of state road construction department, he was surprised to know that the bridge is yet to get power connections. He said: “By tomorrow evening, the bridge will get power connection. The street lamps will be illuminated.”

His surprise is understandable. Sources said on the day of the inauguration of the overbridge, Amrit visited the site and directed the officials concerned to make sure the streets lamps are illuminated by that evening. The officials of ECR and the road construction department had assured him that they would do the needful. However, they failed to live up to their promise.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar opened the bridge for the public on August 16.

The 927-m-long Rupaspur-Bailey Road railway overbridge has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 57 crore by the ECR. It helps commuters, coming from Danapur and Bihta, to reach Patna. The railway track below the bridge is likely to be completed by December this year. It would connect Patliputra railway station with Phulwarisharif.

K.K. Srivastava, general manager, ECR, said: “The bridge construction started in March 2009. The state government is in-charge of the maintenance work of the bridge.”

According to sources, the deadline for the project was July 31. The bridge is 21.5m wide and the height at the middle is 12m. Panchkula-based SP Singla Constructions Private Limited has constructed the bridge and the company is working on 19 more projects worth more than Rs 2,000 crore in the state.

Educational institutions such as Delhi Public School, Ishan International School, St Karen’s School and others are located in the area. Moreover, in the past few years, there has been a considerable development on Rupaspur-Bailey Road stretch as many colonies and apartments have come up in the area.

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