Construction of two bridges has been a major hurdle

The Vijayawada Guntur Tenali Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTMUDA)’s prestigious project — Inner Ring Road — has hit the headlines for a 'different reason’, slip of girders, now.

Hitherto, the project has been in news for reasons like obtaining permissions from the railways, the State government’s indecisiveness and farmers’ unwillingness to part with their land. The authorities still have to get clearance for land acquisition in certain pockets such as Nunna and Gunadala.

The UDA conceived the project idea in 2006. However, the foundation stone was laid, just before general elections, for commencement of works in February 2009. The indecisiveness of the State government has also hit the IRR project.

The Railways asked the UDA to make a single payment of Rs.26.76 crore for constructing the Road-over-Bridge (RoB) near Gunadala on Howrah railway line. Faced with fund crunch, the UDA planned to approach the RITES to take up the task. The Railways gave permission to carry out the RoB works with the help of RITES, a Government of India enterprise.

The government did not act swiftly. These procedural wrangles have delayed the project to a great extent. Delay in execution of the project is costing Rs.40 crore more to the VGTMUDA. The project, originally, was estimated to cost Rs.74.24 crore.

With the procedural delays, it is now estimated to cost Rs.119 crore. The UDA has commenced works on the prestigious project in 2009 and was scheduled to complete it by 2010. The works are progressing at a snail's pace at some stretches of the project for various reasons, including permission from the railways, and encroachments. Later, the deadline was set to 2011, and now the officials expect that the project would be completed by 2014.

The construction of two bridges that was taken up as part of the IRR Project has been a major hurdle in the completion of the project. Originally, of the total Rs.74.24 crore that the project is pegged at, the Central government is expected to bear Rs.37.12 crore and the State government Rs. 14.84 crore.

The remaining Rs.22.27 crore would have to be borne by the UDA. But, with the delay, the cost touched Rs. 119 crore.

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