An ambitious Rs 180cr project to widen the 32.75km Govindpur-Mahuda Road into four lanes, which is being carried by the State Highways Authority of Jharkhand through a Ranchi contractor to ease Dhanbad’s perennial traffic problem, especially at Bank More and Hirapur, is likely to finish in November next year, 18 months behind schedule.
The project under which the currently only 7m wide road would be widened to four lanes — each two-way pair 7.5m wide, separated by a divider or median — was supposed to be completed on May 6 this year. But, a state highways official in the know of things, said on Thursday, “We don’t feel the project would be over before November 2020.”
Land acquisition hurdles on 4.5km of the stretch on Govindpur and Hirapur areas delayed the project in which widening work had started in September 2017. Delays in shifting water supply pipelines by Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada) and electric cables by Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam also compounded the problems.
In an ugly instance of lack of coordination between Mada and state highways authority, the hired contractor widening the road (Ranchi-based Ram Kripal Singh Constructions) started widening the road at Gansadih area of Godhar, 5km from Dhanbad district headquarters, this April before water supply pipelines were shifted. As a result, pipes were damaged and started leaking, disrupting water supply for about four to five days.
Executive engineer cum technical member of Mada, Indresh Shukla said they had given an estimated cost of about Rs 5 crore to shift the pipeline more than two years ago but due to the state highways’ delay in approving the funds, the cost escalated to Rs 6.5 crore and with GST the fresh estimate stood at Rs 6.6 crore. This had been given to the state highways authority, Shukla said.
Highway engineers of state highways, Satyendra Narayan Singh said they completed weight matrix macadam (WMM) work on total 26.3km of the road out of the total cumulative length of 65.5km (both sides). Dense Bituminous Macadam (DBM) work on around 2km is done, along with bituminous concrete work on 6.5km. About the rest, he said, “We are working with district administration for land acquisition but that is likely to be taken up only once elections are over as most officials are busy with election related work.”