Even after two years of the completion of the main structure, the prestigious PVNR Expressway is yet to have all its ramps. While four ramps were added at an agonising pace, work is progressing slowly on one more, and the fate of the last is uncertain.
The 11.4-km-long expressway from S.D. Eye Hospital to Aramgarh and connecting traffic towards the Shamshabad International Airport, was opened in October 2009. The proposal was to have six entry/exit ramps, to join the facility at different locations, and they were not ready when the main thoroughfare was opened.
Since then the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has managed to add four ramps at Laxminagar, Upparpally and Aramgarh and a down-ramp near Hyderguda.
Now, work on the down-ramp is in progress at Aramgarh, with officials hopeful of completing it by June. Even this part of the project did not go on as planned, with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) taking its own time to replace pipelines coming in the way.
“The HMWSSB was initially given Rs. 3.70 crore for the work, but the cost escalated, and we had to provide them an additional Rs. 1.30 crore,” an official said.
Incidentally, the Laxminagar down-ramp has shown no sign of progress. While the shifting a place of worship to facilitate the landing has not been addressed over the years, the other issues include acquisition of a land parcel from the Defence Ministry and shifting of drinking water and sewerage pipelines.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has to acquire the land from the Defence Ministry, and apparently it remained at correspondence stage. Meanwhile, HMDA officials concede the pressure exerted by the contractor over the delays.
“It is but justified, and we cannot hold the contractor for long. The most we can drag is till the Aramgarh ramp is completed,” the official said. If the land acquisition is not cleared by then, the HMDA plans to just take care of the merging portion i.e., the bit of the ramp that runs with the main structure for some distance before starting to land.
“We will stop it there and keep it aside. As and when the land is made available by the GHMC, we will start the landing work. For this, we will have to engage another contractor, and it means more cost,” he added.