The existing development cell will widen the road by asphalting or concreting

Mangalore City Corporation has constituted a task force for widening traffic-congested narrow roads in the city, said Commissioner Harish Kumar K.

The primary task was to convince people to part with their land for widening roads, shifting utility lines, deal with court cases if any, and ensure that land was available without any obstacle for development, he told The Hindu.

Once the land was available without issues, the existing development cell in the corporation would widen the road, either by asphalting or concreting, he said.

The task force headed by Mr. Kumar comprised an Executive Engineer G. Rajashekar, an Assistant Executive Engineer K.S. Linge Gowda, a surveyor, and officials from the Town Planning section. Mr. Rajashekar also heads the development cell while Mr. Gowda continues to head the water supply section.

Mr. Kumar said the land would be acquired by way of awarding transferable development rights (TDR) to landowners.

The task force, constituted about 10 days ago, would be responsible for shifting telephone, water and power supply lines, electric poles, removing compound walls, demolishing buildings, and to ensure that land was available for development.

He said that the task force had been constituted to speed up road-widening work as the development cell could not concentrate much on land acquisition, utility shifting, and associated works. The Commissioner said the Mangalore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) in the Master Plan II for Mangalore Local Planning Area had identified certain roads for widening. The city corporation would focus on widening them with other narrow roads. “Works on removing structures on the narrow Bhawanthi Street had begun,” he said.

The Commissioner said that once the Bhawanthi Street was cleared, the entire stretch from the Bhawanthi Street to Mannagudda via Kudroli and Durga Mahal Road would be widened and re-laid. Mr. Gowda said that except two structures, there were no other obstacles for widening the stretch between Bhawanthi Street and Mannagudda. The issues relating to the two structures would be resolved soon.

Sources in the task force said the civic body had identified six narrow roads for widening.

Approved proposal

The former whip in the council and the former Mayor M. Shankar Bhat in 2008 had mooted a proposal of constituting the development cell. The council of the corporation had approved the proposal on July 29, 2008.

He said that there was no need to constitute a separate task force when the objectives of the development cell remained the same as that of the task force.

Mr. Bhat said that the cell had been constituted for implementing developmental works in the city by using special grants from the Government and grants from the State Finance Commission and 13 Finance Commission.

The Commissioner might have constituted the task force as probably the development cell was lagging behind in discharging some of its objectives, Mr. Bhat said.

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