Uncertainty continues over the proposed flyover at Pumpwell Circle on the National Highway 66 due to unresolved issue of shifting of the circle with a huge “kalasha” installed in 2003.
Jain community had gifted the “kalasha” after the circle was named after Mahaveera during his 2006 birth anniversary, according to a letter the Mangalore Jain Society wrote to the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada and the Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation on March 1, 2012.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has sought shifting the “kalasha” to pave the way for the flyover as part of widening the stretch between Nanthoor and Talapady under phase III of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). Official sources told The Hindu that the society, after initial hesitation, agreed to shift the circle with “kalasha” last month to a nearby vacant land (near a police outpost built by Rotary Club). But the stakeholders are yet to reach a consensus.
In its letter the society president L.D. Ballal and secretary Pushparaj Jain said: “…We are informed that the proposals (of shifting the circle) are acceptable to the NHAI subject to approval by the revenue and the city corporation authorities and payment of suitable compensation by the NHAI…”
They requested both the authorities to permit the society to shift the circle.
“…We are willing to make our own arrangements for shifting the circle as per the approved plan and for its maintenance as it is now being maintained by the Karnataka Bank Ltd.,” the letter concluded.
Deputy Commissioner N. S. Channappa Gowda told The Hindu that the NHAI was requested to modify the flyover plan by increasing its height to avoid shifting the Kalasha and by additional vent to allow B.C. Road-Mangalore traffic, a proposal which has also got the backing of Mangalore City (South) MLA N. Yogish Bhat.
“We will have one more meeting with the NHAI to sort out the issue,” Mr. Gowda said.
Mr. Bhat told The Hindu that building the flyover should be the first priority not the retaining the “kalasha” as it was not an ancient monument.
There was no point in shifting it to the vacant land nearby as the corporation might need the space for other public utility purposes.
Mr. Jain said the society was not willing to install the “kalasha” in any other circle in the city. P. N. Gawasane, Project Director, NHAI told The Hindu that NHAI would begin the works on flyover shortly based on the letter by the society.
If obstructed, the NHAI might drop the flyover from its scope of project.