Nalin Kumar Kateel takes PWD officials to task for missing deadline

Member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel vented his ire at the officials of the Public Works Department for failing to carry out road repairs before the onset of the monsoon during a review meeting here on Monday.

Mr. Kateel demanded to know why the officials did not complete the repairs on the Mani-Kabaka and Sullia-Sampaje roads before the monsoon. He told the officials to set themselves a realistic deadline for the completion of the work and stick it to it.

After nodding his assent, the official extended the June 17 deadline he gave the MP earlier and revised it to June 21. There appeared to be some confusion about the four-laning of the National Highway No. 66 (formerly NH 17). According to the present design, two by-passes were to be constructed at Mulky and Padubidri, but the elected representatives were opposed to the construction of a by-pass which would come up near Bappanadu temple.

P.N. Gawasane, Project Director, National Highways Authority of India, said that 41 buildings would have to be demolished and that it was not possible to complete the project without acquiring land. After initial disagreement, Chairman of the Coastal Development Authority B. Nagaraja Shetty, MLA K. Abhayachandra Jain, and Mr, Kateel agreed to carry out a spot inspection on June 20 and discuss the project.

Mr. Shetty said the national highway passing through Brahmarakutlu near B.C. Road should be made four-lane as it was an accident zone. Work on the project was halted last year because of a religious structure that was near the highway. He maintained that the four-lane could be done on either side of the structure. However, Mr. Gawasane said the issue was not cost, but safety. It would be dangerous to execute such a design as it would pose a risk to devotees, road users as well as the structure itself, he said.

Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation K.N. Vijayaprakash said if pipe culverts were converted into box culverts , flooding could be controlled. Mr. Gawasane said that permission for five such projects had been received and that the NHAI had no objection for more such conversions. Mr. Shetty directed Mr. Gawasane to look into the problem of flooding at B.C. Road as a result of the fly-over construction.

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