*Ranchi-Jamshedpur road under construction since five years only to remain full of potholes till date.
By seeking details of road accidents and number of death during the past seven years on Ranchi-Jamshedpur section of the National Highway-33,Jharkhand High Court has taken wind out of concerned parties' sails.
Each of these parties are learnt to be in touch with the police to gather details of road accidents and deaths since 2010."It is a very tough job.We are trying to collect the data ",said a senior officer of the department.
These parties are Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,NHAI,Forest Department and Banks which disbursed loan to contractor-Ranchi Expressway Ltd.This company was engaged in Rs 1654 crore four-lane construction work since 2012.The construction work was supposed to be completed by 2015.But it was not complete till date,proves potholes on this Ranchi-Jamshedpur road today.
Since construction work was not complete till date and a PIL was filed against these parties,a division banch of the court comprising Justice Apresh Kumar Singh and Justice BB Mangalmurti on November 1 sought details of road accidents and number of deaths on this road since 2010.In response to the court's directive,these parties were collecting the road accidents and deaths data.
The court suspects that inordinate delay in timely completion of the project might be the result of some corporate fraud.As such,the court has sought replies from these parties and fixed November 14 as next date of hearing.
Earlier, the court had fixed May 2018 deadline for the contractor and the NHAI to complete the ongoing road construction work.However,the company informed the court that it has a coffer of only Rs 296 crore while it requires additional Rs 700 crore to complete the pending work.
Against this backdrop,the NHAI as well as the state road department's responsibility can not be ignored by the court.Now,it remains to be seen as to how the court and these parties respond and the construction work of Ranchi-Jamshedpur road is completed.