Drama over Panagarh bypass inauguration

panagarh_bypass_durgapur_expressway_inauguration
Panagarh Bypass being inaugurated by State minister Moloy Ghatak in morning and later on officially by Union minister Babul Supriyo in afternoon

Durgapur News Desk, 11 December 2016: In spite of much drama for the whole day, the much awaited Panagarh Bypass of Durgapur Expressway (NH 2) has been opened yesterday for plying of all types of vehicles. The bypass will definitely give the much needed respite from the daily traffic jam at Panagarh Bazar.

The work for the INR 700 crore bypass was flagged off in June 2014 and was completed well within stipulated time of September 2016. It is a part of the mega six-laning project of 122.88 km road stretch from Barwa Adda near Dhanbad and Panagarh in Burdwan. The bypass was planned in 2009 by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to reduce traffic congestion in Panagarh.

It was at 11:30 am yesterday, when state labour minister, Mr. Moloy Ghatak made a trick by opening the stretch four hours ahead of its official inauguration by Union minister of state for heavy industries yesterday.

Ghatak was at the Bypass point to attend a Trinamool Congress-sponsored political programme to mark protest against demonetization where another state minister, Swapan Debnath was to join him later.

Accompanied by several of TMC’s district leaders along with Asansol mayor Jitendra Tiwari, Ghatak suddenly left the dais and heavy cranes were taken to the sealed pint and after the machine removed the concrete blocks planted at the entrance, Ghatak cut the green ribbon and said, “The Union minister for road transport and highways has no time for the ready road that is waiting for inauguration since last three months as he is busy with his daughter’s marriage in Mumbai. So I felt it is urgent to open the road for public use today.”

On being asked why he took this bid when Babul Supriyo, the union minister is scheduled to open this road today itself, Ghatak said: “I have no idea who is going to inaugurate this.” Ghatak however was invited for the official inauguration ceremony at 4 pm, though he skipped the venue and the programme.

None of the NHAI officials, however, were present when Ghatak opened the road for public use.

An aggrieved Babul Supriyo, the Union heavy industries minister mocked at state labour minister Moloy Ghataks hijacking bid saying: “Sometimes a cat eat the cake before birthday celebration but it doesn’t affect the purpose of celebration at all.”

The embarrassed National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) failed to seal the road stretch at 11:45 am and vehicular traffic continued to ply uninterrupted for three hours after the ‘proxy’ inauguration by Ghatak.

It was an hour ahead of the official inauguration by Babul at 4 pm that the NHAI authority managed to prevent plying of vehicles. The chief general manager, NHAI, Asutosh Gautam said: “We had no idea of the inauguration by the state minister and they didn’t take our consent for the purpose.”

On being asked why he took this bid when Babul Supriyo, the union minister is scheduled to open this road today itself, Ghatak said: “I have no idea who is going to inaugurate this.” Ghatak however was invited for the official inauguration ceremony at 4 pm, though he skipped the venue and the programme.

Babul after inaugurating the bypass said, “It has become the culture of Moloy Da’s party. I should only say that there won’t be any politics in issues related to national interest.”

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