The city will have to wait two more months for the completion of the flyover at Pumpwell, according to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Speaking to reporters after inspecting the ongoing works at Pumpwell on Sunday, Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, said the NHAI and the concessionaire of the project Navyug Udupi Tollway Pvt. Ltd. have assured that the flyover work would be completed by the end of January. Another flyover at Thokkottu would be completed by the end of next month and traffic would be allowed on it from February.
Z. Samson Vijay Kumar, Project Director, NHAI, Mangaluru, said that an underpass for light motor vehicles and pedestrians would come up at Ujjodi near Mahakali temple. As pre-cast concrete boxes would be fixed at the underpass, the project at Pumpwell would not be delayed beyond February, he added.
Mr. Kateel said that though the flyover at Pumpwell had been sanctioned in 2010, in reality the project took off in 2016. It was delayed due to four factors. The Mangaluru City Corporation delayed changing the design of the project in view of its bus stand project planned in front of Karnataka Bank Headquarters at Pumpwell. There was delay by the State government in getting land for the project and demolishing buildings in acquiring land for the same. Also, the concessionaire ran out of money.
The MP said that there was no need for the Congress to rake up the flyover issue politically. It should instead introspect on why the new bridge project across the Netravati at Panemangalore took 14 years to complete and why the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government took 13 years to complete the B.C. Road-Mukka Highway four-lane project, he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil S. on Saturday sought the weekly progress report from the NHAI on the Pumpwell and Thokkottu flyover projects.
He told the District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting that the NHAI had been misguiding meetings over the progress of the projects. Mr. Senthil said the real problem was with the NHAI and not the concessionaire. The NHAI is bound to get the projects done fast.
The NHAI’s Regional Office in Bengaluru has written to the Union government to scrap the toll gates at Mukka (Surathkal) and B.C. Road, according to Mr. Kateel.
He said that earlier in September he had written to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, to close the two toll gates. Now, the State government would have to further take up the matter with the Union government based on the letter from the Regional Office of NHAI, he said.
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