Mangaluru, Dec 31, 2019: There are just a few hours for the latest deadline to complete the flyover at Pumpwell Circle, it seems likely that the Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt Ltd, the concessionaire, will not meet the deadline.
Officials of the NHAI mentioned that the work is likely to be completed in the next 15 to 20 days. Although the work on the flyover was accelerated the last few days, the final stage of the work near the Karnataka Bank head office is yet to be completed.
Also, while the underpass at Ujjodi has been constructed, the work on the road above is pending.
The connecting road towards Ujjodi and the retaining wall on both sides of the road too are incomplete. The work on the stormwater drain is in the final stage.
When DH contacted NHAI Project Director Shishu Mohan, he said, “The work has been accelerated and is in the final stage. Although it was decided to open the flyover for traffic on January 1, owing to the recent rainfall and curfew in Mangaluru, the work was delayed. The work will
be completed in the next 15 to 20 days.”
The work on the flyover was started in September 2010 at an estimated cost of Rs 671 crore, as a part of the four-laning work on the NH 66 between Talapady and Kundapur. The 90-km stretch, excluding the 17 km between Nanthoor and NITK, Surathkal, was completed by the NHAI under the Port Connectivity Project.
The deadlines for the four-laning work, however, have been missed several times over the years.
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had set May 31, 2019 as the deadline for completion of the flyover. During the inspection of the flyover on November 16, however, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had set January 1 as the new deadline. Kateel has attributed the delay in the completion of the work to poor financial assistance to the contractor as well as authorities handing over land to construct the service roads.
“The MP had set January 1 as the last deadline to open the flyover to traffic. Going by the current speed of the work, however, it looks like the work will take two to three months to get completed,” said Hrishikesh, a student.
The Pumpwell flyover has become a subject for trolls and meme creators. One of the memes had shown US President Donald Trump being invited to inaugurate the flyover on January 1. Even a video of Kateel, during the inspection, directing the concessionaire to complete the work by December 31 to facilitate its inauguration on January 1, has gone viral on social media.