Mangaluru, March 03, 2016: Assurances by the NHAI - National Highways Authority of India to complete four-laning work of National Highway 66 between Talapady and Pump Well by June this year is a myth, it appears that road users will have to suffer another round of monsoon going by the slow pace of work.
The NHAI got the old Netravathi bridge closed about a week ago to refurbish its surface. No work was undertaken for almost a week except diverting the traffic from Kasaragod on the newly-built bridge. Last few days just two workers with an air-compressor are deployed to chip off the top concrete layer.
At this pace, the NHAI will take at least one month to clear the junk and the time to be taken to lay bitumen top on the bridge is again left to the NHAI’s discretion. Ashoka Vardhana, a naturalist, said this ‘inaction’ of the NHAI had been troubling road users, who have to get in to a jam the new Netravathi Bridge.
NHAI had not put proper signboards about the bridge’s closure and traffic diversion, thereby making driving, particularly during nights, a terrible experience, said Antony Vaaz, a mini-truck driver.
Work on patches between Yekkur Junction and Jeppinamogaru, Thokkottu Junction and Talapady toll booth is a non starter. So also is the work between Pumpwell and Yekkur.
The woes of the residents of Yekkur, off National Highway 66, seems set to continue as the work on four-laning the highway is moving at a snail’s pace.
Vehicle users moving from Yekkur towards Pumpwell struggle to take a u-turn at Yekkur Junction as the newly-built carriageway is on a higher elevation to the old carriageway.
Vehicles get clogged near Yekkur Junction as the surface of the old road over-bridge is full of potholes, regretted Nityanand, a resident of Yekkur. A driver who frequently plies on the stretch of the highway, said the least NHAI could have done was to divert the traffic on the newly built RoB so that vehicles moved with ease from and to Pumpwell.