The Telegraph
Friday , February 8 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Two faces of makeover in capital
Bamboo fence for chowk

A cash-strapped Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has found a pocket-friendly way to protect the city’s roundabouts. It is banking on bamboos.

Bamboo walls have come up around the Shaheed Nirmal Mahto island at the busy Jail Chowk to prevent it from further damages. According to local ward councillor Javed Akhtar, the civic body is reeling under severe funds crunch and doesn’t have enough money to carry out maintenance and repairs of the roundabout at the moment. “So, we decided to put up bamboo barricades around the chowk to protect it from day-to-day wear and tear that occurs due to traffic movement. As compared to concrete structure, bamboo walls are fragile, but it doesn’t cost much to re-erect it,” he said.

Jail Chowk remains chaotic as it witnesses vehicular movements throughout the day. There is not let-up on the pressure at night too with heavy vehicles whizzing by. Recently, the bottom of the roundabout, including one of the hands of the statue of slain JMM leader Nirmal Mahto, suffered cracks.

“This is not a first. Unruly drivers and hooligans keep vandalising roundabout at night. I came to know that local rag pickers even steal iron rods and sell it as scrap,” Akhtar said.

Whatever be the civic body’s current plans, a major facelift of the chowk is on the cards. According to Akthar, an assessment study is being considered by RMC.

“We held a couple of meetings with RMC’s chief executive officer and deputy commissioner, where I proposed to shift the traffic lights to all four corners of the street. The statue, which is now placed on one side of the road, will be relocated to the centre as a proper roundabout. Later, we can beautify it,” he said.

He added that they had also readied an 8ft bronze statute, but it could be installed only after everything was ready.

RMC CEO Dipankar Panda admitted that there was money problem but stressed that the civic body was working a facelift plan. “I have asked the officials to first do a proper assessment after which we can plan something concrete. But I can’t give a time frame as it depends on various factors like proper planning, funds etc,” said Panda.

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