Mangaluru, Feb 01, 2019: Union Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari’s reported ultimatum to complete work on the flyovers at Pumpwell (Bhagwan Mahaveer) Circle and Thokkottu Junction on National Highway 66 by February end appears to have had little impact on concessionaire Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt. Ltd.
Nearly a month after the deadline given by the Minister at the instance of MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and after the Opposition Congress in the City Corporation launched padayatra demanding early completion of infrastructure projects, work has not picked up pace.
While the former Minister B. Ramanath Rai had led a three-day padayatra from Nelyadi to B.C. Road from January 14 seeking expediting the work to widen NH 75, Minister U.T. Khader led a padayatra from Talapady to Pumpwell on January 28 seeking early completion of work on the two flyovers on NH 66.
Except some primary earthwork for approach ramps from both ends — Talapady and Nanthoor, Navayuga has not proceeded further as far as work on Pumpwell flyover is concerned.
Work on inserting a pedestrian underpass at Ujjodi is yet to start. With the pace of work now, it is highly unlikely that the flyover could be commissioned before monsoon, said Aldren Joseph, a regular commuter through the location.
There is some progress at the Thokkottu work site where Navayuga is working on approach ramps for the flyover. Yet, the pace of work does not guarantee that the flyover could be commissioned by February-end, said Ashraff Sulaiman, a resident of the area.
Mr. Kateel admitted that the Pumpwell flyover cannot be completed by February-end and said that work may get over by May. “How much pressure the government can exert,” he asked, noting that the build, operate and transfer contract was awarded to Navayuga by the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre.
“We cannot rescind the contract as it involves several legal complications,” he said. The MP also indicated that delay by the local administration in handing over required land and interference in flyover design earlier considerably delayed work.
However, the MP said that the Thokkottu flyover would be ready before this month-end and could be commissioned.