If the Jamshedpur national highway division has its way, residents of the steel city — and elsewhere — will soon be able to say goodbye to bumpy rides on NH-33 and NH-6.
A revamp proposal, projecting a cost of Rs 16 crore, was forwarded to the new UPA government at the Centre for approval yesterday.
Senior officials of the Jamshedpur national highway division said that their efforts were directed towards repairing a 20km stretch of NH-33 — from Rangamati towards Ranchi and 10km from the Chandil roundabout. The proposal also includes a 12km stretch of NH-6 from Baharagora to the Bengal border.
Another proposal to convert NH-6 into four lanes between Darisole and Jamsola, a stretch of about 10km, is also on the anvil.
"All these arterial roads are in sorry state. They need immediate repair. We are hoping to get the approval so that work can begin immediately," said Ramesh Rai, the executive engineer of the division.
Earlier this year, repair work was undertaken along 30km between Jamshedpur and Ranchi. A total of Rs 10 crore was spent on the job. But Rai pointed out that heavy traffic was damaging both the highways. Statistics reveal NH-33 witnesses a traffic flow of about 38,000 passenger car unit (PCU) per day.
"It is difficult to keep the roads in good shape when overloading continues to be a menace. Heavy commercial vehicles plying on NH-33 and NH-6 defy rules quite often and carry more goods than permitted," said an official.
Referring to overloaded vehicles, Rai said both NH-33 and NH-6 could bear the burden of vehicles carrying up to nine tonnes. But some commercial vehicles plying on both the highways carry up to 45 tonnes, causing heavy damage to the road, he said.
"We will concentrate on improving road quality, as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) already has plans to convert NH-33 into four lanes for smooth flow of traffic," Rai said. He, however, provided no solution to the problem of overloading.
While unruly vehicles remain a trouble for highway law enforcers, the condition of roads results in accidents more often than not. The situation goes from bad to worse with the onset of monsoon, which is already on the threshold. Potholes turn into puddles and go unnoticed at night, leading to serious accidents.
Jamshedpur officials said if the project got the approval, it would help reduce the number of mishaps that rise during the rainy season. "We are optimistic that we will also receive the requisite funds for repairing the two national highways," said an official of the Jamshedpur division.
May 30, 2009 / Telegraph