George Modayil, team leader of the New Mangalore Port Connectivity Project of the National Highways Authority of India, on Monday admitted that the four-lane project being executed by IRCON between B.C. Road and Surathkal was of poor quality at several points. “There is some deficiency in the management,” he said.

Mr. Modayil was participating in a meeting convened by Kanara Chamber of Commerce's Sub-committee on Road Safety. Asked whether this merited black listing the firm, Mr. Modayil said the firm could not solely held responsible when the employer (the State Government) was also at fault for delay in acquisition of land. “The time overrun (of the project) is double. It has gone from 30 to 66 months. The IRCON rates are not workable (now). It is a sick project,” he said.

Moreover, blacklisting the firm would further delay the project by three years, he added.

Mr. Modayil said the time overrun had increased the cost of the project. “It started (in 2005) with Rs. 194 crore. Now it has reached to about Rs. 260 crore. The firm has been pooling in money from its resources,” he said.

Mr. Modayil said riding quality was found to be poor on the Kottara and Kuntikana flyovers.

The problem at the Kottara flyover was because of the expansion joints. “We have asked them to rectify it,” he added.

The problem on the stretch between the Karnataka Polytechnic and Padau was on the left lane where an additional layer of asphalt was missing. A longitudinal crack on the road had been noticed near the New Mangalore Port Trust, he said.

Denying that the problems were related to the use of less material and men by the firm, Mr. Modayil said: “There is no saving on men and material. There has not been any compromise on the quality of the road. Every patch of the road has been tested.” IRCON had used all equipment necessary for execution of the work, he added.

Earlier, KCCI Sub-committee chairman Praveenchandra Shetty said the work between B.C. Road and Surathkal stretch was not done as per the necessary standards.

The road was uneven in several areas. The flyovers at Kuttikana and Kottara Chowki were of inferior quality, he added.

Joint Commissioner of the Mangalore City Corporation Vijayakumari Shenoy, Senior Motor Vehicle Inspector Keshav Bharani and Principal of the Karnataka Polytechnic Vijayakumar participated in the meeting.

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