Bharatlal Meena asks MCC to start work on available land

A three-year-old proposal to construct a bus terminus at Mahaveer Circle (Pumpwell Circle) has got a new lease of life with Principal Secretary in-charge of Dakshina Kannada Bharatlal Meena directing officials on Monday to go ahead with the project on the seven acres land available. At a review meeting here, Mr. Meena asked Mangalore City Corporation officials to proceed with the project without waiting for acquiring more land.

Pumpwell Circle was one of the places identified by Mr. Meena for building satellite bus stands in city when he was the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada in 1994. Later in 2010 V. Ponnuraj, Deputy Commissioner, mooted the proposal of developing a “transport hub” on about 20 acres, of which 7.25 acres had been acquired at Pumpwell. According to Mr. Ponnuraj’s proposal, a bus terminus for both KSRTC and private buses, including some city buses, was to be built on the land. In addition, it was proposed to have parking facility for autorickshaws, taxis and private vehicles. An automobile service station (garage), luggage room and associated facilities had also been proposed there.

The city corporation levelled the 7.25 acres of land a year ago. Since then, there was no development either to acquire more land or to construct a bus terminus on the available land.

B.T. Kantharaj, Superintending Engineer and Deputy Commissioner (Development) at the corporation, told the meeting that the civic body now had Rs. 1 crore reserved for the project.

Mr. Meena asked the civic body not to give scope for this fund to lapse and start the project and acquire more land in phases. He said that seven acres was enough for building a bus stand for private buses now.

The Principal Secretary also asked the Commissioner of the Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA), Mohammed Nazir, to proceed with the multi-level car parking (MLCP) building project at Hampankatta without waiting for acquiring a private building nearby. Mr. Meena asked the MUDA to first construct the MLCP building to some extent, then move the shopkeepers in the private building to the ground floor of the MLCP building and later expand the MLCP building by acquiring the private building.

Compensation for areca farmers

The Department of Horticulture here has sought Rs. 10.41 crore more from the government to pay compensation to areca nut growers whose plantations were affected by fruit rot disease or kole roga in the last rainy season. This was in addition to Rs. 20 crore released to Dakshina Kannada for paying compensation.

The Deputy Director of the department Yogesh H.R. told the review meeting presided over by Bharatlal Meena, Principal Secretary in-charge of the district that the government was yet to release the additional fund sought. The fund released had been disbursed, he said. Mr. Meena promised to take it up with the government. (EOM)

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