The Telegraph
Friday , September 5 , 2014
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‘Necklace’ for Marine Drive

Expect Jamshedpur’s Marine Drive to wear the ‘Queen’s Necklace’ just like its posh namesake of Mumbai by this year-end.

The 10km under-construction stretch, which snakes along Subernarekha river from Sakchi-Kadma-Sonari to Adityapur Toll bridge, will start glowing with street lights with Tata Steel embarking on a massive beautification drive. The steel major is aiming to wrap up the Rs 120-crore project by November after bagging the right-of-way (ROW) over disputed land last week following successful rehabilitation of disgruntled slum-dwellers.

According to sources in Tata Steel’s logistics department that oversees road construction and beautification plan, the two-lane Marine Drive will sport LED double-arm street lights every 30 metres on the median, thus reprising the ‘Queen’s Necklace’ look. The streetlights will resemble a string of pearls if viewed at night from an elevated point anywhere along the drive.

Mumbai’s Marine Drive, a C-shaped six-lane road along the coast, is called the Queen’s Necklace for the same reason.

“We have mega plans for Marine Drive’s beautification and putting up LED lights is one of them. Once street lights start glowing at night, it will make the stretch look like Queen’s Necklace just like Mumbai’s Marine Drive. Motorists and commuters will surely cherish the sight,” Tata Steel spokesperson Ashish Kumar told The Telegraph.

Other plans include planting flowering plants on the median and trees on the river’s flanks, precast concrete chairs on the banks for people to relax while basking in the beauty of the natural scenery. Tata Steel has also taken into consideration the issue of encroachments on the riverbank while carrying out road construction and has gone for elaborate stone pitching.

“This has been done in strict adherence to environmental norms as per the suggestions of Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board. This is an innovative plan to prevent soil erosion and river encroachment. All along the banks, stone boulders have been placed from the river bed. The outer edge of the stone boulders has been pitched with concrete in the shape of stairs having a width of two feet,” said a senior official.

Crash barriers are also being erected to prevent passing vehicles from falling into the river.

“Right now, we are focusing on the beautification drive as road construction work cannot be carried out because of the rains. We expect the monsoon to take leave from September after which road construction would resume,” the official said.

Marine Drive, part of Tata Steel’s western corridor project, was planned to keep heavy vehicles off city roads. Construction started in June 2012 and was scheduled to end by June 2014. But encroachments on Kadma side held up work.