Hard soil hinders progress of NMC works on Railway Overbridge at Maskasath

NMC ROBNagpur (NGP): Work on the railway overbridge (RoB) at Maskasath has struck a hurdle and faces long delays as the structure’s design is changed. A senior NMC engineer said that hard soil (or stone) beneath the ground has stopped the work. NMC says it would take a couple of months to restart construction after changing the design.

The original drawing was for the railway overbridge to have four pillars on each side. However, to the dismay of local residents, NMC has to get approval for the revised plan with at least six pillars.

A senior NMC official from the project department told that the carriageway of the existing bridge is 4.5 metre wide. NMC was constructing a bridge on the same spot with an 11-metre carriageway. NMC had appointed Mumbai-based firm Vatan Singh and Co, which completed work on building parts of the Rs4.49 crore ROB. As per earlier plan, NMC was supposed to construct the RoB by putting four pillars on either side. The officer pointed out that the civic body had conducted a soil test earlier, but not found any hard soil near the track.

However, while digging the land near the railway track, the contractor found granite stone, which is very hard to drill through. The civic body was supposed to dig almost eight meters beneath the ground. However, the contractor is finding it difficulty to dig beyond 4.5 meters, the officer said.

After this development, NMC had to stop the work. The officer explained that excavation of the patches could have damaged the railway track. “So, we have now approached VNIT to prepare a revised drawing for the project,” he said. After VNIT’s nod, NMC has once again submitted the revised drawings to South East Central Railway (SECR) headquarters at Bilaspur for its approval. “Once we get the nod, work will begin soon,” the officer said.

Despite repeated attempts, officials of SECR were not available for comment.

Meanwhile, residents expressed anguish over the new development, as the existing bridge has become a huge traffic bottleneck. They wonder how NMC could not detect the ‘hard stone’ beneath the ground when they planned the project.

When the project to widen the RoB was prepared, its cost was 2.50 crore. But delays have escalated the project cost by almost 2 crore.