The cramped railway underbridge near Tata Pigments gate on Monday. (Animesh Sengupta)
Railways have begun construction of the much-awaited underbridge near Tata Pigments gate on the Jugsalai-Station Road, a perennial snarl zone for steel city commuters.
The new underbridge, a Rs 6 crore project that is being undertaken by the engineering wing of railways, will come up close to the existing underbridge that is now woefully inadequate for the growing number of trucks and cars that use the stretch to the railway station.
“The new railway underbridge will be 7.5 metres wide and 5.5 metres in height. It is scheduled to be commissioned in September,” said an official of Chakradharpur railway division’s engineering wing.
During his recent visit to Tatanagar railway station, the new general manager of South Eastern Railway, Radhey Shyam, had also assured the city that the project would be completed by September.
For commuters, especially those living in Jugsalai and Bagbera localities, negotiating the century-old old underbridge is a nightmare as it is too narrow for the high volume of traffic that passes through.
It’s worse during monsoon as the road below the bridge gets waterlogged and develops craters within the first few showers. Often overloaded trucks and trailers get stuck underneath leading to traffic jams for hours.
Senior divisional engineer (DEN) Saswat Kumar said the railways was taking a lot of care to ensure that the new underbridge was constructed in such manner so as to avoid traffic issues.
“The construction work of the new railway underbridge has begun in right earnest. Work might get held up during the monsoon,” he told The Telegraph.
Local railway officials said the Jugsalai-Station Road, which was a single lane (7.5 metres) road would be converted into two lanes for facilitating smoother traffic flow.
Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) welcomed the initiative of the railways. “We had fought a long battle for the new road overbridge near Tata Pigments. We are happy that work has finally begun for the project,” said Vijay Anand Moonka, vice-president and member, divisional railway user’ consultative committee.