Work on Chikkanayakanahalli-Tiptur-Hassan road has come to a standstill

The coal block allocation scam has hit a road development project in the State.

The work on developing Chikkanayakanahalli-Tiptur-Hassan road has come to a halt as promoters of the company that has taken up the Rs. 241-crore project have come under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the allocation of coal blocks.

Abhijeet Toll Road Karnataka Ltd. of Abhijeet Group had taken up work on the 76.92-km road under build own and transfer (BOT) model.

The promoters of Abhijeet Group have been questioned by the CBI in connection with the coal scam. Manoj Jayaswal, chairman and managing director of the company, and his brothers are under the CBI scanner.

Started on January 5

The work on the road, which began on January 5 this year, stopped 20 days ago. Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL), the contracting authority of the project, has written to the company in this connection.

A KRDCL official, who did not wish to be named, said, “It appears that fund flow has been stopped, affecting the work. We have written to the company expressing dissatisfaction over the development.”

If the work is delayed beyond the construction period, the government has the right to levy penalty. Besides that the company will lose toll for the period the work was delayed, according to the official.

Sudhir Gupta, one of the board of directors of Abhijeet Group, has signed an agreement with KRDCL for execution of the project.

As per the conditions put forward by KRDCL, the company has to complete the work by January 4, 2014. KRDCL has signed an agreement with the company for handing over the road for 30 years, including the two-year construction period.

The work on the road has begun from both sides. Clearing and grubbing work has been completed on a stretch of 32 km, excavation has been completed on 3.6-km stretch and work on embankments has done on 19.54-km and 16.02-km stretches. Besides this, concreting has been completed on 4.56-km stretch.

The official said land required for developing 63.51-km stretch had been handed over to the company, while the work on acquiring the remaining land was under way.

Toll plazas

The project includes construction of two toll plazas — one near Hassan and another at Chikkanayakanahalli in Tumkur district.

People of Hassan and Tumkur districts have been waiting for early completion of the project as it has been a longstanding demand. The project is expected to improve connectivity between the two districts.

Frequent travellers between Hassan and Dudda are also waiting for early completion of the project as the present condition of this stretch is poor.

Of the Rs. 241 crore, the company has to invest 61 per cent, the Central government’s share is 20 per cent and the State government’s share is 19 per cent.

More In: Karnataka | National