Mangaluru, Apr 14, 2018 : National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has missed yet another d-day deadline, March 2018 set to complete the work on 4-laning of National Highway 66 between Talapady and Kundapur with three crucial flyovers, Thokkottu, Bhagawan Mahaveer Circle (Pumpwell) in Mangaluru, Karavali Circle at Udupi and Shastri Circle in Kundapur, remaining in limbo.
Social and conventional media continues to alert and shame the authorities concerned whenever there had been lapses, they have utterly failed as NHAI has remained mute to concerns expressed. While a picture of just four people working on the Pumpwell flyover was in circulation a few months ago, “congratulating” the NHAI for the speedy work, a video celebrating the eighth birthday of Pumpwell flyover by a few youngsters is in circulation.
The Union government and the Prime Minister’s office which are known to respond to issues highlighted on social media too have surprisingly remained mute. The Minister of Road Transport has, in fact, said that an average of 25 km of NH is being constructed every day in the country.
Started in September 2010, the 4-laning project is almost completed except for the four flyovers and stretches of roads within Padubidri and Kundapur towns. Work on service roads at many places too are incomplete. To a query, the NHAI had responded saying that the project would be completed by March 2018.
The authority and the Ministry, which should have cracked the whip against concessionaire Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt. Ltd., strangely did not act, said Lohith R., a Mangaluru resident.
Even after public displeasure, work on completing the flyover is moving at a slow pace. Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt. Ltd. commenced earthwork for flyover ramps at Pumpwell and Thokkottu about three months ago and going by the pace of work, it is unlikely that the work will be completed within a year.
With the monsoon due in early June, residents of Mangaluru and Thokkottu fear that the incomplete earthwork may create havoc when it rains. A local knowledgeable person said that with incomplete rainwater drainage system, Pumpwell, Thokkottu Junction and surrounding areas are likely to get flooded during the rainy season.