NAGPUR NEWS TODAY: Activists of Nagpur City Congress Committee staged a Sholay-style protest on Monday to draw attention of the state government to delays in completion of six-lane cable-stayed railway overbridge (ROB)
at Santra Market.
The ROB has been hanging fire since October 15, 2005, when it was inaugurated by none other than Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) national president and union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.
On Monday, at around 1pm, president of the VJ/NT cell of city Congress Mohnish Jabalpure (28), a resident of Chitra Talkies, and his friend Anupam Nimgade (28), climbed up the stairs of the Afcons tower.
As part of the pre-planned protest, the activists refused to come down unless animal husbandry minister Nitin Raut, who was in the city, district collector Saurabh Rao and commissioner of police Ankush Dhanvijay reached the spot.
The already chaotic traffic on the railway over bridge was severely affected by the protest, with even the police unable to handle the situation.
Talking to newsmen at the spot, Sagar Kothule, general secretary of the cell, said, “Such delays happen only with Vidarbha. During the 7-year period since work on Ram Jhula started, many bridges in Mumbai and Western Maharashtra have been completed.”
Kothule added that the life of the existing bridge is already over. “Is the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) waiting for a catastrophe?” he asked.
MSRDC sources said since the African company shortlisted to supply cables closed down, contractor Afcons had chosen a company from Spain for the supplies. However, during the cable testing on September 4 in Bangalore, the company’s product was disqualified.
The drama at Ram Jhula ended around 6pm when Raut, Rao and Dhanvijay reached the spot and pacified the activists. Jabalpure said Raut has promised to take up the issue with the minister and officials concerned.