Mangalore, April 19: The quality of the NHAI’s New Mangalore Port Connectivity Road and flyovers was inspected on April 18, Monday and the inspection report shows that the NH 17 stretch from BC Road to Suratkal is packed with defects. Praveenchandra Shetty, the chairman of the Road Safety Sub Committee (Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry) has condemned the inferior quality of this work.
The committee comprises senior RTO, DK District Police, MCC, and NHAI officials along with officials from KPT, KCCI, and Sai Consulting Engineers Pvt. Ltd., who are the consultants for NHAI.
The inspecting team found that the flyovers at Kottara Chowki and Kuntikana are of inferior quality and the constructors have not maintained uniform thickness of tarred surface within the spans.
The width of passage around the traffic circle at KPT is narrower than the approach roads, which makes it inadequate for the passage of two vehicles. Since the road from this circle to the Circuit House is off centre and the islands around the circle are out of shape, the junction becomes very dangerous for motorists, especially those coming in from other directions. Moreover, the surface levels of roads between KPT junction and Padva School are uneven making vehicles bounce three times on these roads.
The lane marking has disappeared in just 3 – 4 months because of the poor quality of paint used. Since these marks are meant to assist motorists at night, their absence makes the road very dangerous at night.
The use of round marble pebbles between Maroli and Bikarnakatte (Nanthoor) reduces bonding force, owing to which they might be full of potholes during the monsoons. A huge quantity of sand is used along this stretch instead of graded sand to cut costs, owing to which the NHAI will have to spend huge sums of money on maintaining and upgrading this poorly constructed road.
The NH17 stretch from BC Road to Suratkal is full of uneven surfaces, uneven inclinations, defective joints, ditches, loose soling, side-way slip cracks, camel backs, porosity, improper shoulder, and much more.
The committee has therefore refused to approve the quality of the highway and flyovers constructed by M/s Ircon. It has specifically stated that the defective highway is very dangerous for driving and has already caused a number of accidents and loss of life. The highway does not meet the standards and specifications of the IRC (Indian Road Congress), owing to which the committee rejects outright the quality and standard of the entire stretch and flyovers constructed by M/s Ircon.
The committee also resolved that the written approval of the district-level road safety committee on quality and workmanship is mandatory before M/s Ircon hands over the road to NHAI for use. The committee also demanded that M/s Ircon should be blacklisted for such bad work.
Speaking on the occasion, George Modayil, a team leader of Sai Consulting Engineers Pvt. Ltd., said that work commenced in 2005 with a 1-month deadline, but 66 months were required for land acquisition alone. Agreeing that the work was of inferior quality, he said that the cost of the project rose from Rs. 194 crore to Rs. 264 crore owing to price hike and assured that the defects will be corrected and a report will be submitted to the district administration. He also refused to sign the acknowledgment receipt for the report.