Members of Akhil Bharat Yuva Sangha take part in shramdaan by repairing Tatanagar station overbridge road on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
For once, a national icon is being remembered not through lip service but through solid labour.
The 20-odd members of the newly formed Akhil Bharat Yuva Sangha in Jamshedpur are paying a unique tribute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh by repairing the 250m potholed stretch of Tatanagar Overbridge Road that had been left unattended to since four years.
Sangha members — a mixed bag of youths between 18 and 25 from Burmamines, East Plant Basti and Golmuri, including college students, job-holders and self-employed — bought three shovels, sand and stone chips and rented mini-vans to ferry them to the site of action.
Then, they took turns to put stone chips and sand on the cratered road and levelled the stretch with shovels.
The shramdaan, which started on Friday around 11.30am, continued till 2.30pm, and will last till Monday. Outfit president Satvir Singh Sumo, a transporter who’s also known as a BJP youth leader, said that the Sangha was not a political outfit.
“I may be an active BJP man but not some of my friends. We come from different backgrounds, but our common thread is our admiration for Bhagat Singh. We wanted to pay our tribute to him through something that will help common masses. What better way to do so than repair the back-breaker of an approach road to Tatanagar station before the festive season,” he said.
The Telegraph had highlighted the condition of the Tatanagar Overbridge Road on May 1.
The 1km stretch has developed deep cracks and potholes making driving a nightmare. The road witnesses a footfall of over 50,000 a day. Nearly 10,000 vehicles, including two-wheelers and commercial vehicles, use the stretch.
The overbridge, whose foundation stone was laid in 2002, was built at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore jointly by Tata Steel and railways on a 50:50 basis, and got operational in 2007. It is the only link from southern, eastern and central pockets of the city.
“We have covered almost all big potholes on the stretch starting from Jugsalai roundabout to the station overbridge on the first day. We hope to complete the entire stretch within our four-day agenda,” said Satvir Singh.
The Akhil Bharat Yuva Sangha president further said that if the railway authorities do not act positively then they would have no alternative but to gherao divisional railway manager of Chakradharpur division South Eastern Railway Rajiv Agarwal.
Talking to The Telegraph, senior divisional commercial manager of Chakradharpur division K.N. Biswas said they were aware of the problem. “The tender process is on. Repair work will commence soon,” he promised.
The boys seem to have beaten the slow pace of bureaucracy hollow.