A three-member team from the road construction department on Thursday inspected the status of the second Kharkai bridge's approach road on Jamshedpur end.
To their shock, the team members found that work was yet to start.
Tata Steel, whose subsidiary Jusco is supposed to construct the approach road on Jamshedpur-end, had earlier assured the department that construction would start from January 1. However, executive engineer Sanjay Kumar Singh, who was leading the team, said work had not begun.
"The principal secretary of our department, Rajbala Verma, had written to the company management in December, requesting it to start building the approach road at the earliest so that the second bridge could be made fully operational. In response to the letter, Tata Steel had promised to begin work from January 1. But that has not happened," Singh told The Telegraph.
The executive engineer pointed out that in the absence of the approach road, the bridge could not be made operational and heavy vehicles would not be able to ply.
"The problems have to be seen in the larger context. The bridge is linked to the newly built Adityapur-Kandra Road, which has provision for toll. Ideally, both should have been made operational simultaneously so that heavy vehicles could have plied and we could have collected toll. Adityapur-Kandra Road was inaugurated on December 31," Singh reasoned.
The road construction department has already paid Rs 37.7 lakh to Jusco for constructing the road.
Mangotia Construction Private Limited was supposed to construct both the approach roads to the Rs 15.5-crore second bridge over Kharkai. But due to inordinate delay, the Seraikela-Kharsawan district administration approached Jusco and JARDCL, a subsidiary of construction major ILandFS, to build the approach roads at Jamshedpur and Adityapur sides, respectively.
The argument was that since ILandFS was widening the Adityapur-Kandra Road, it should also construct the approach road. Jusco was brought in as the approach road on Jamshedpur end falls under the Tata Steel lease land area. JARDCL completed the approach road on Adityapur end by December.