HUDA officials admit that rains have affected work

Rains accumulated as pools obstructed progress of work

HYDERABAD: The heavy downpour that brought the city to a standstill last week also ended up affecting the progress of the P. V. Narasimha Rao Elevated Expressway which when ready is expected to provide a smooth connectivity to the International Airport at Shamshabad.

Originally scheduled to be operational by October this year, work on the 11.5 km long project was delayed for several reasons and presently is expected to be completed by May 2009. With the connectivity in the form of elevated expressway not ready and work in progress along the stretch, the access to and from the airport has been a troubled experience for commuters.

The Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) officials admit that the rains did affect the work on the expressway adding, “The planning goes haywire with such rains”. Since concreting work is involved, the kind of downpour experienced last week brings the work to a halt.

At many points along the worksites, the rains ended up accumulating as pools causing obstructions not only to the road users but also the progress of work. However, the HUDA officials express confidence on keeping the construction work going on to meet the new deadline. The delay, officials say, happened due to various factors from land acquisition to shifting of statues and some utilities such as telecom, water and electricity.

Of the 328 foundations, 125 are still to be done, but that is not seen as a critical task. “The critical task is associated with casting of segments and erecting them,” points out HUDA Chief Engineer Vivek Deshmukh. The work on segments is going at a casting yard and transfer and setting them up too is a job that calls for extreme caution. “They weigh about 80 tonnes and need to be handled carefully. Lifting the heavy segments demand critical care and we have to take into cognisance several factors including the safety of those moving around,” he said.

Even for the rest of the pier work, some intervention is needed from electricity and water department in the form of shifting cabling and pipelines. Mr. Deshmukh however, does not see them as really hampering the work at present and expect those things to be taken up in time. “We are hopeful of meeting the May 2009 deadline,” he assures.