Mangaluru, Oct 8, 2015 : For months now regular commuters have been been facing a harassing time on Mangaluru-Bengaluru National Highway (NH 66), with ordeal of traffic snarls at the Railway under Bridge (RuB) at Padil, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is yet to construct an additional RuB, has squarely blamed the Railways for the inordinate delay.
NHAI sates that the concrete elements (for constructing the RuB with box-pushing method) have been ready at the site.Also Rs. 1.5 crore has been paid to the Railways to construct a temporary girder beneath the railway line to facilitate box-pushing.
However, the Railways is yet to permit us to execute the work, said Samson Vijay Kumar, Project Director of NHAI in Mangaluru.
Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager of Southern Railway Anand Prakash states that the RuB is a part of the line-doubling project of Mangaluru-Panambur and the construction wing of the SR looks after the same.
He has urged the Chief Administrative Officer (Construction) to hasten the permission to NHAI to facilitate construction of the RuB, though there were some issues regarding payment of escalated costs of construction. A senior official with the construction wing said while it might take about two months for giving the permission, another five months are required to complete the RuB construction.
NHAI projest Director Vijay Kumar claimed that NHAI is not due any money to the Railways and asked the authorities concerned to come on record on the claim of balance amount due from the NHAI.
The Railways should not mislead the public. NHAI has done everything that is required for the construction of the RuB. It is the responsibility of the Railways to accord permission at the earliest in the interest of the public, he said. Meanwhile, Director Vijay Kumar said the NHAI is unable to lay a pot hole-free road beneath the existing RuB since there are no alternative roads to divert the traffic. Unless the traffic is completely stopped, a long-lasting road cannot be built at the place, which is prone to water logging, temporary repairs are being done regularly. Once the additional RuB gets opened, the NHAI proposes to concrete the road under the existing RuB, he added.
Toll opposed : Users of NH between Mangaluru and B.C. Road where the road has been made four-lane, except a stretch of about one km near the RuB, have been opposing payment of toll at Brahmarakootlu toll plaza near B.C. Road citing incomplete work. They claim that neither is the road work is complete nor are there proper service roads. The NHAI, however, has not responded to the claims of the public.
Road users of Mangaluru-Bengaluru National Highway have been the victims of the blame game between the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Railways as they are caught in traffic snarls on daily basis. While vehicles move in snail’s pace on a normal day, they pile up for at least one km on either side of the RuB whenever it rains. On such occasions, one would spend at least an hour to negotiate the stretch.