The travails of people using the Padil-Bajal road appear to be nearing an end as the Ministry of Railways has approved the construction of an underpass (road under-bridge) at the manned level-crossing there. Construction is likely to begin in three to four months.

Southern Railway has written to Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, that the proposal to construct an underpass had been included in the list of approved works for 2009-10. This comes after protests from people demanding measures to ensure smooth flow of traffic. Since the gate is closed frequently, the public, particularly students and office-goers, are put to hardship.

Common grouse

“We have suffered a lot,” said Pradeep Kulal, an executive in an IT company. Stating that the railway gate was closed at least five to six times an hour, he said a bridge must come up at the spot immediately and at any cost. It should have been constructed at least four years ago, he added.

Another road-user said, “People of Faisalnagar, Veerangar, Bajal and Jelligudde have a horrible time because authorities have not provided a bridge despite repeated requests and agitations.”

Mayor M. Shankar Bhat admitted that the people in the area had been suffering and he too had demanded a bridge at the level-crossing. The corporation had earmarked Rs. 1 crore for the project already, he said.Mr. Kateel had written to Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa in June and to the Railway Board Chairman in September highlighting the plight of the people. He had pointed out that more than 40,000 people were living in the vicinity of the level-crossing.

Mr. Kateel pointed out that the State Government had agreed to share the cost of the underpass and had sought the inclusion of the work in projects for 2006-07.

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