Mangalore City Corporation's plan on developing a transportation hub, involving bus-stands and other transport associated facilities, adjoining National Highway 66 at Pumpwell seems to be in limbo.

The corporation is yet to prepare a blueprint of the proposed hub and acquire 11 acres of land in addition to 7.25 acres acquired now. It does not have funds to develop the hub. According to a demand placed by the corporation to A.G. Kodgi, chairperson of the Task Force for the Implementation of Recommendations of the Third Finance Commission Report, at a meeting here on July 22, it required Rs. 62 crore for the hub, official sources told The Hindu.

At present, the corporation had only levelled some land on 7.25 acres acquired by it at Pumpwell for the hub.

In a latest development, the corporation had written to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to build an underpass with provision for service roads between Mahaveera Circle (formerly Pumpwell Circle) and Nanthoor Junction while widening the highway, before the MCC went ahead with its plan.

Official sources told The Hindu that the NHAI would widen the highway to 60 metres width.

In addition, if service roads were to be provided as demanded by the corporation, the MCC would have to acquire private land to at least 20 metres width and 2 km length on both sides of the highway between the circle and the junction. It required more funds in addition to Rs. 62 crore estimated by the corporation to the hub.

G. Rajashekar, Executive Engineer, Development Cell, corporation, in a letter to the NHAI on August 18, sent a proposal for building a four-lane underpass with service roads on both sides as the corporation had acquired 7.25 acres of land on one side of the highway for constructing a bus-stand.

Mr. Rajashekar told The Hindu that the corporation was yet to prepare a sketch of the proposed bus-stand. “We have requested the NHAI to provide an underpass first,” he said.

Prashanth N. Gawasane, Project Director, NHAI, Mangalore, told The Hindu that the NHAI's consultant would scrutinise the proposal first for its feasibility for including it in the highway expansion project undertaken under Phase III of the National Highways Development Project.

After obtaining the observation from the consultant, it would be sent to the NHAI headquarters for its suitable decision as constructing an underpass required additional funds.

Premananda Shetty, chairman, Standing Committee for Town Planning and Improvement at the MCC, said that if not developing a transportation hub the proposal of constructing a bus-stand at Pumpwell was alive. “We have not dropped the proposal. Even our party (BJP) is for constructing a bus-stand there,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Shetty said the corporation was yet to have a blueprint for constructing a bus-stand. It was yet to arrange funds for the project.

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