PWD proposal awaits approval from government

A proposal to widen the narrow road leading to the seven-storey District Court complex, now under construction, is yet to get the approval of the State government. The proposal is to increase width of 300-metre-long road from five metres to nine metres.

Following an observation by the State Fire and Emergency Services, the Public Works Department submitted a proposal a few weeks ago to widen the 300-metre-long road as required under the fire-safety norms related to a 28-metre high building. The funds allocated for the court complex do not include the road project. “The road was not a part of estimate done for court building. We are awaiting sanction of funds from the government,” said a senior official of the Public Works Department.

During the inspection of the new building, following an application seeking a no-objection certificate (NOC), the Fire and Emergency Department observed that the present five-metre-wide road was too narrow for a fire engine to approach the new building in case of an emergency. As per the Master Plan for Mangalore Local Planning Area of the Mangalore Urban Development Authority, the existing road abutting the 18-metre-high building should be nine metres wide. Provisions should also be made for widening the road further up to 12 metres. “With the existing width, we could not give the NOC for this important public building,” said Chief Fire Officer for Mangalore Region H.S. Varadarajan. However, there is no problem with the setback for the new building, he said.

The senior official from the PWD said that an NOC from Fire and Emergency Services was not mandatory when the licence for constructing the building was taken in 2007. Moreover, the 300-metre road belonged to the Mangalore City Corporation.

As per the proposed plan, the road will be widened by retaining walls on sides of Kudmal Rangarao Road and K.S. Rao Road. A portion of some of the buildings on Court Road leading from K.S. Rao Road will be demolished, the official said. It was also proposed to have one-way traffic on the widened road. Some trees on the road leading from Kudmal Rangarao Road will be felled.

Tenders have been called for sprinklers and other firefighting equipment worth Rs. 1.5 crore. They would be installed on each of the seven levels of the building.

A senior official from District Court hoped that the building would be completed by March. “We hope to get necessary clearances and start functioning from the new premises from April,” the Court official said.

The new building will have 30 court halls. Advocates have been seeking early completion of the building. Today, courts are spread across three different places.

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