Vehicles jostle for right of way near Raj Bhavan in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
The ball has been again set rolling for the proposed rotary roundabout on Kanta Toli Chowk, which had remained a non-starter for over two years.
The Rs 6-crore project, conceived way back during President’s Rule in 2010, has been given a fresh go-ahead by the state road construction department.
“The project has got a clearance from the road construction department. Construction firm Arunaditya Projects, which was appointed last year through a competitive bidding, would execute the project. Process of land acquisition is on the verge of completion,” said Umesh Prasad Sinha, executive engineer, road division, Ranchi.
Arunaditya Projects had moved court after the road construction department rescinded its contract last year for missing the deadline of starting the project. However, company officials said they could not start work due to pending land acquisition issues.
According to the detailed project report (DPR), the Kantatoli rotary will be a big roundabout with a 30-metre wide road on all sides — towards Lowadih, Hazaribagh road, Bahu Bazar and Dangra Toli Chowk. The junction on Kanta Toli Chowk will be widened to 60 metres from the existing 25-30 metres.
Traffic snarls are routine at Kanta Toli Chowk — the gateway to the state capital from both Jamshedpur and Hazaribagh — with a sea of vehicles, either entering the state capital or going towards other destinations via Ranchi, taking the route. The tardy pace of the Ranchi ring road project, which could have offered alternative routes to the vehicles, aggravates the problem.
The capital’s traffic problems can also be largely blamed on the absence of enough number of flyovers.
In the past 10 years, only two flyovers have been built in Ranchi. The first one is Dibdih flyover over Birsa Munda Rajpath — the stretch mostly used by VVIPs to reach power corridors such as Project Building, Raj Bhavan and the chief minister’s residence.
The second flyover is in Kadru. A joint venture between the government and railways, it was completed in 2009.
A third, also a joint venture of railways and National Highways division, is coming up at a snail’s pace at Namkum railway crossing. The extended deadline of the project was June 30, but work is far from over. Notably, the slow pace of construction has prompted Jharkhand High Court to closely monitor the project.
“The Namkum flyover, about 3-4km from Kanta Toli Chowk towards Jamshedpur side, will take another couple of months to be ready, said executive engineer of Ranchi’s NH division Rajeev Lochan.
He added that work got hampered for over one and a half months because of a strike by stone chips crusher units. “We have filed a pray affidavit at the high court, giving details about reasons behind delay,” Lochan told The Telegraph.
Meanwhile, DPRs for flyovers at three major thoroughfares of the city — Lalpur Chowk, Sujata Cinema Chowk and Albert Ekka Chowk (Firayalal Chowk) — are in the final stage of being vetted at the offices of superintending engineer and chief engineer of Central Design Organisation.
Sources said acquisition of prime properties falling along the proposed alignment of three flyovers would be a Herculean task before actually starting groundwork.