Mayor Rajani Dugganna said on Thursday that patchwork on roads in the city will begin in November, even as the Government has sanctioned another special grant of Rs. 100 crore to the civic body.
She told the monthly meeting of the Mangalore City Corporation council that the junior engineers of the corporation had been asked to prepare estimates for filling potholes on various roads.
Ms. Dugganna said that she would convene a meeting within a fortnight with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials to discuss shifting the water pipes at Padil on NH 48 and Kaikamba Junction (Kulashekara area) on NH 13 for widening the highways under the port connectivity project.
Earlier, during Question Hour, Mariyamma Thomas, councillor, said that although the NHAI had deposited Rs. 14 crore with the city corporation long ago for shifting the pipelines, the latter had not yet completed the task. Since the pipeline at Padil and Kaikamba Junction had not yet been shifted, the widening work had come to a standstill. The NHAI had dropped the proposal to construct an overpass at Nanthoor Junction because Mescom had delayed shifting the underground electricity cable there, she said and urged the council to pass a resolution demanding that the NHAI construct the overpass.
Gopala Gowda, assistant executive engineer of the corporation, blamed the NHAI for not showing the civic body the corridor for shifting the pipeline.
The former Mayor M. Shankar Bhat too blamed the NHAI for its laxity in this regard.
James D'Souza, councillor, said that the contractor of the port connectivity project, IRCON International Ltd., had not completed even a single overpass properly. He wanted to know why the Government had not taken any action against the company.
Opposition Congress councillors wanted to know if the corporation had constituted a core committee to decide on the projects to be taken up with the general fund of the corporation. They said that a decision to form such a committee had been taken at a meeting convened by district in-charge Minister J. Krishna Palemar However, there was no provision under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 for setting up such a committee when the civic body had other statutory committees to decide on the projects to be taken up, they said.
The Mayor said that such a decision had been taken to avoid the blame-game between the ruling party and the Opposition that works under the general fund were being cornered by one side. Such a committee was not legally valid. If the councillors did not want it, the proposal could be dropped after consulting the Minister, she said.