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Days after CM threw it open,GSRTC terms railway overbridge accident-prone

A circular by transport corporation asks its buses not to ply on that route.

Written by Express News Service | Rajkot | Published: May 18, 2013 2:53:00 am

A circular by transport corporation asks its buses not to ply on that route.

Days after it was thrown open to public by Chief Minister Narendara Modi,the triangular railway over-bridge (ROB) on busy Gondal road of the city has been declared “accident-prone” by Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC).

The Rajkot division of GSTRC issued a circular to all the other 15 divisions in the state on March 13,asking its drivers not to ply on the ROB on Gondal road as it was “accident-prone.” The CM had dedicated the ROB built at a cost of Rs 58 crore to public on March 9.

“After reports of minor accidents,our supervisors conducted a survey of the bridge and found it unsafe for our buses. Hence,we issued the circular for not plying on it,” Hiri Katara,senior divisional traffic officer of Rajkot,told The Indian Express on Friday.

The ROB,named after Swami Vivekananda,has approaches from three directions. While the average width of approaches from PD Malaviya College of Commerce and Mavdi Road is 16 metres,the width of the third approach starting from near Swaminaryan Gurukul is around 11 metres. This bottleneck towards the Gurukul has the GSRTC concerned.

“Within a few days after it was inaugurated,two-three minor accidents involving GSRTC buses were reported. Auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers rammed into our buses from behind while driving down the tail-end of the approach which narrows down towards Gurukul. So,to ensure safety of our passengers,we decided to stop plying our buses on that route,” Randipsinh Rana,manager of Rajkot depot of GSRTC,said.

According to Rana,700-odd buses used to take the bridge to cross the railway line every day. Now,they have been diverted on Dhebar road after crossing the tracks at Malavianagar.

Gondal road is gateway to Junagadh and Porbandar districts and parts of Rajkot district. The Mavdi junction used to witness traffic jams during peak hours and the ROB was built by Rajkot Municipal Corporation under Central government-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

“The original design of the bridge had the same width for all the three approaches. But the standing committee decided to narrow down the (Gurukul) approach three years ago as it was lined by a number of shops and the civic body would have to pay their owners compensation. Accordingly,the design was changed,” Municipal Commissioner Ajay Bhadu said,adding that the RMC had not received any formal communication from GSRTC about its decision to not use the bridge.

GSTRC clarified Gondal Road ROB was not a unique case and that they do not use a few other bridges in the state for similar reasons.

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