Vital link closed for repairs
The closure of a vital link road in Murshidabad's Kandi has left more than 1 lakh residents of the Jibanti-Sherpur area inconvenienced for almost a fortnight.
The district administration on June 3 closed the 20km Jibanti-Sherpur road after “severe damage” caused by heavy vehicles over the past few months.
Roughly 1 lakh residents of the 20-odd villages lining the link road will suffer until repairs are complete.
An official said the damage to the road — a vital link to carry construction material to Kandi, Behrampore and Domkal subdivisions — was caused when more trucks started using it as a detour since late 2019 when the Ranagram bridge of the Kandi-Behrampore highway was found to have structural damage.
“A public works inspection found structural damage to the bridge. Since then, trucks used the Jibanti road as a detour,” said a district official this week.
Now that both the bridge and road are closed, truck operators are using a 50km detour via Moregram on NH12 to get to their sites, the region being a point of trade for construction materials such as sand and stone.
Police officials cited “general discontent” in the area over the road closure. PWD officials claimed they were “acting swiftly” on the repairs.
An engineer with the PWD said: “Keeping the road closed will speed up repairs. Two police pickets were set up at Sherpur and Jibanti More to check errant movement of vehicles.”
Murshidabad SP K. Sabari Rajkumar said too many accidents had been occurring on the stretch. “We sent the district magistrate a report and stopped vehicle movement on the stretch. PWD officials are attending to it keenly,” Rajkumar said.
Stone chips supplier Hafizul Mollah said detours pad up raw material cost and make people lose time and money. “District officials should have foreseen the greater traffic load on Jibanti-Sherpur Road when the Ranagram bridge was shut,” he said.