The project is expected to complete in a year’s time

With the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) clearing it, the much-delayed Rs. 4.96-crore Road Under Bridge (RUB) to avoid the manned level crossing on Padil-Bajal Road near Mangalore Junction Railway Station is set to become a reality.

The project – keenly awaited by thousands of harrowed road users – is expected to be completed in a year’s time. Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Anand Prakash told The Hindu on Tuesday that the tender for the project will be called soon and the work would commence immediately after the monsoons.

He said the CRS had expressed doubts about the box-pushing technology to be adopted to drill underground bore to construct the RUB without affecting the functioning of the level-crossing. However, the Railways had convinced the CRS on the safety of the technology.

While boring the ground, precautions would be taken to ensure that the earth does not cave in, Mr. Prakash said. A shield would be in place to prevent any accident. “This is an accepted technology now,” he said.

Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) is expected to bear half the cost of the project. The DRM said the Railways had already received the amount due from the MCC.

2009 project

In fact, the Railways had communicated to the 15 Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel in November 2009 that the proposal had been included in the list of approved works, thereby raising hopes that the road users were in for a relief.

The announcement had come after several protests and appeals for the construction of a bridge to provide unhindered movement of vehicles at the level crossing (No. 146). However, there was little progress thereafter.

The issue had figured in several meetings held by Mr. Kateel to review railway projects and about six months ago, it was decided that the foundation stone should be laid in October 2013.

But objections raised by the CRS came as a fresh hurdle in the project.

Busy crossing

Palakkad’s Additional Divisional Railway Manager Mohan A. Menon had said that since the manned level crossing was one of the busiest, the movement of trains could not be stopped for the construction of the bridge. Hence the RUB would be constructed using the box-pushing technology, drilling the earth 7m below the surface.

People of Faisalnagar, Veernagar, Vijaynagar, Bajal and Jelligudde had been writing letters to authorities pointing out that more than 40,000 people were living in the vicinity of the level-crossing where the gate is closed frequently – more that 30 times in a day.

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