The revamped Kadma-Adityapur Link Road. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
The ride to Adityapur from Kadma is no longer a driver’s nightmare.
The half-a-kilometre metalled approach road to Adityapur Toll Bridge from Bhatia Park in Kadma is almost ready with some finishing touches left, bringing huge relief to motorists who earlier risked life and limb to negotiate the kutcha, accident-prone link.
Officials of Adityapur Toll Bridge Company Limited (ATBCL) said remaining works like installation of street lights would be over soon and the one-way stretch — part of Tata Steel’s Rs 120-crore Marine Drive plan to link the toll bridge to Mango Bridge — would be completely ready by June-end.
“Though work is still going on the approach road from Kadma to the toll bridge, it is amazing to ride through the stretch. I had never thought that this road would be so easy to tackle. Just imagine what will be the scene once all lights are fixed and the road will glow at night,” said a delighted Sanjay Sinha, an entrepreneur and resident of Kadma having a small-scale industrial unit at Adityapur.
Another commuter, Ravindra Singh, who stays in Sakchi, was equally appreciative.
“I travel to Gamharia every day. Earlier, the ride from Bhatia Park in Kadma to the toll bridge was a painful experience. It was nothing short of a roller coaster. Now, the road is as smooth as silk,” Singh added.
Managing director of ATBCL Sudhansu Kumar admitted that the count of vehicles, especially private cars, taking the Adityapur Toll Bridge had gone up ever since the metalled approach road was constructed.
“I hope traffic will pick up once lamp posts are installed and vehicles can enjoy a safe ride at night,” Kumar told The Telegraph.
He, however, was critical of the Seraikela-Kharsawan district administration for failing to stop movement of commercial vehicles on Kharkai bridge — the other link to Adityapur — which was affecting revenue generation on the toll bridge.
Recently, a meeting on the toll bridge was held between ATBCL and Kolhan commissioner Alok Goyel. The commissioner had said then that the Seraikela-Kharsawan district administration would ban plying of any commercial vehicle on the Kharkai link.
“But nothing of that sort happened. Commercial vehicles, including smaller ones, continue to ply through Kharkai bridge, thus evading coughing up toll,” Kumar complained.
On an average, 500 heavy vehicles, 2,000 small vehicles and 7,000 two-wheelers take the toll bridge on a given day.
While there is no toll for two-wheelers, cars have to cough up Rs 15 for every visit, heavy vehicles Rs 40 and multi-axle vehicles Rs 50.
Work on the Kadma link started last year and though the tentative date for completion of the project was December 2013, encroachment hurdles along the Marine Drive delayed construction for a while.