The railway gate remains closed for nearly six hours a day

Mangalore City Corporation has invited bids for conducting a feasibility survey and preparing a detailed project report on constructing an overpass at the railway level-crossing at Mahakalipadpu here.

This came after a meeting of the officials of the Southern Railway and the civic body had here on June 24 to solve issues pertaining to the Railways. Nalin Kumar Kateel, Member of Parliament, had convened the meeting.

The notification on bids published by the civic body on June 28 said the estimated cost for the overpass was Rs. 15 crore. It said the detailed project report with construction drawings would have to be made in consultation with the Railways and the city corporation.

G. Rajashekar, Executive Engineer, Development Cell of the corporation, told The Hindu on Thursday the that exact cost of constructing an overpass could be worked out only after the detailed project report comes, depending on the length of the overpass and acquisition of properties.

Southern Railway's Phalghat Divisional Railway Manager S. K. Raina told the meeting that his organisation would not prepare the general arrangement drawing (GAD) for constructing the overpass. He wanted the civic body to get it done by a special consultant having knowledge of both railway and road engineering.

Mr. Raina had said the overpass should be at least 12 metres high as the Southern Railway would lay electric lines along the Mangalore Central Station-Kerala Railway line for operating trains.

The Divisional Railway Manager had said the Southern Railway would not bear the cost of the overpass. It had to be borne by the city corporation or the State government.

Meanwhile, the city corporation in its 2011-12 budget had earmarked Rs. 3 crore for building a railway overpass in the city. But the budget document did not make it clear for which overpass it had reserved the fund. While reading out the budget document Sharat Kumar, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Taxation, Finance and Appeals, had said more funds would be provided to the overpass project if needed.

According to a spokesperson of the Nirmala Nagara Hitarakshana Vedike, Mahakalipadpu, which had been demanding an overpass, about 50 trains pass through the railway level-crossing daily and people were made to wait for long. The railway gate remained closed for nearly six hours a day, the spokesperson said.