Residents and traders term the delay ‘unwanted’

Work on the construction of an road over bridge in Lalgudi, which was taken up in 2010, has been in the limbo following what the traders and local citizens call it ‘adamant policy’ of the State.The contractor who earlier bagged the project, opted out for foreclosure in the wake of a series of problems, particularly the cost escalation and litigations up on land acquisition for the project.

All petitions disposed

A total of 14 cases were filed but all the cases have been disposed off say the Highways Department sources.

The Highways Department has called for re-tender which was taken up at an estimate of Rs. 20 crore including the expenditure for land acquisition. Of it, works to the tune of Rs. 2 crore had been completed, with the construction of a few pillars.

Although the legal battle had been resolved, the delay is caused as no contracts is willing to take up the project. The bridge will be 500 metres long and will have 19 spans, each 165 metre wide. Works to the tune of Rs. 7 crore remains unfinished for the past 18 months. The Commissionerate of Tenders had called for re-tender six times so far, releasing advertisements.

The estimate fixed by the tender committee is not commensurate with the actual works involved, says contractors. They point out that the work was quite different due to shallow water levels and lose soil in the area. It would be difficult to utilise the heavy machinery normally used in a river bed. Further, the work could be executed only during the night shifts which would be not only expensive in terms of wages but also takes longer duration of time to complete, they say.

A total of 44 trains cross the station daily and the level crossing is closed to traffic for at least 15 minutes each time. The level crossing is located at a strategic location, with the noted temple dedicated to Sri Saptharishiswarar located on the western side and a number of educational institutions and villages, bus stand on the eastern side.