Plazas nowhere in sight on Adityapur Toll Bridge. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Toll plazas, you haven’t reckoned with red tape tangle over green clearance.
Forest clearance delay has hindered the construction of toll plazas and building of much-hyped Rs 185.5 crore project of the Adityapur-Kandra four-lane, built on private-public partnership mode.
Department of road construction has to arrange the formalities of getting forest clearance and handing over the land to Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited (JARDCL). The construction firm will build the structures and hand over the finished project back to road construction department so the latter can start collecting toll.
This seemingly smooth logic has a rider. At present, the JARDCL has land on the left but not the right of the freeway.
Though service lanes are getting constructed, lack of forest clearance has stopped construction firm JARDCL from going ahead with the toll plazas on either side and a double-storey building on the right of the road’s Kandra-end.
When asked, road construction officials said though a year had passed since they applied for forest clearance, the matter was still in limbo.
Senior manager JARDCL Alok Mani rued that if they had the land, they would have started building these vital structures. “Apart from toll plazas, the building will be equipped with hi-tech cameras and computerised gates. Without these, how can we start the toll collection system? We have land to set up plaza on the left side of the four-lane only,” Mani said, adding their deadline was April 2013.
Road construction department executive engineer Sanjay Kumar Singh seemed to be on the same page as Mani.
“Non-availability of forest clearance is a major hurdle. Else, we would have started the tender process to outsource the task of toll collection,” said the executive engineer.
Seraikela divisional forest officer A.T. Mishra said clearance was “getting processed”. But, he didn’t divulge a date.