Mangaluru, Sep 12,2017:A special meeting called to discuss the problems related to the national highway construction works ended abruptly due to the lack of understanding of languages among the NHAI officials and the members here at the Zilla Panchayat office here.
Initially, there was a problem of quorum. Most of the members are not affected by national highway problems as their respective areas are away from the highway. There were 19 members out of 39, including the president and the MLC.
Zilla Panchayat members Janardhan Thonse, Babu Shetty and others alleged that NHAI is least bothered about genuinely carrying out the construction works at the proposed project extending from Kundapur to Karwar.
Thonse said that the planned flyovers or foot bridges and over bridges work in the belt extending from Surathkal to Kundapur has not been taken up. Especially in the areas like Ambalapdi, Karavali and Padubidri Junctions, the work is left half without any sign of completion. The incomplete work has created a lots of problem to the students, senior citizens and the pedestrians who use the stretch to cross the road, he charged.
The lackadaisical attitude of the NHAI officials is posing a lot of problems. The land acquisition process is another fraud as the officials claim the rights over the land without conducting a proper survey. The work in the identified area has been taken up without compensating the land losers, he said.
Compensation issue : Zilla Panchayat vice president Sheela Shetty charged that the actual land cost is not given. For instance, one cent of land which has a market value of Rs 3 lakh to 3.5 lakh is offered only Rs 30,000, which is total injustice. The width of the highway is also considered according to the convenience. In some areas, it is 60 metres, while in some other area it is 45 metres, he charged.
When the members unanimously demanded for clarification on the charges and also explanation over the project, the NHAI officials were not able to as they could not understand the charges levelled in Kannada language.
Project director Vijay Kumar said that if the demands are written in a letter format, he will be able to give them appropriate answers.
Rude response : The members were highly dissatisfied as the NHAI officer rudely responded to their grievances. There was also no meditator, who could translate the members’ grievances, to the NHAI officials.
MLC Prathapchandra Shetty said that what was the need to convene a special meeting when a representative from the Government of Karnataka at NHAI is missing
ZP president Dinaker Babu said the meeting ended without finding any solution for the problems after one hour.
The meeting will be held next week again. The officials are least concerned about the problems and they rarely attend the meetings, he charged.
The project director said out of proposed 90 kilometres, work on 83 kilometres has been completed. There is 48 kilometres of service road, of which 28 kilometres is completed. Out of 10 minor bridges, one is pending for completion and nine major bridges have been completed, he explained.