PW Department accused of neglecting roadworks in Virajpet, Madikeri
Roads are in bad shape in Ballamavati, Nelaji, Napoklu areas Official says works will begin on March 8
Madikeri: Bharatiya Janata Party workers from Virajpet and Madikeri taluks, led by the zilla panchayat and taluk panchayat members, on Friday laid siege to the Public Works Department office here demanding the agency to carry out immediate road repair and asphalting works.
Accusing the department of neglecting the road works in the two taluks, workers said hardly two and half months remained for carrying out road works before the commencement of monsoon. Kodagu has only four months time in a year to implement road works as there will be rain during he remaining period of the year.
Ballamavati, Nelaji, Napoklu areas in Madikeri taluk were heavy rain-bearing areas and roads were in bad shape.
Zilla panchayat member Manu Muthappa said unconventional rains could start any moment.
Executive Engineer Basappa tried to explain to the agitated members that steps were under way to take up road works, but to no avail. Sunil Subramani, general secretary of the Kodagu district BJP unit, wanted the PWD to offer a deadline to start the works. F
inally, Mr. Basappa said the works of pothole filling, covering parts of Virajpet taluk in Kadnur and Madikeri taluk, near Karada, would begin on March 8. Shortage of materials such as bitumen, delays in getting approvals from the higher-ups in Mangalore and Bangalore too had added to the delay.
Madikeri MLA K.G. Bopaiah and president of the Madikeri taluk panchayat, T. Kishore Kumar, joined the agitated members at this point of time.
Mr. Bopaiah said the Rs. 17.5-crore special road package for Kodagu, to be implemented in a three-year period since last year, to develop the State highways and other roads in the district, was yet to gain momentum.
Of the sum, only Rs. 6 crore was spent in the first year and the second year's work this season was yet to begin.
He said the Estimates Committee, of which he is a member, had submitted a proposal to the State Government to empower Executive Engineers to approve works up to Rs. 25 lakh and the Assistant Executive Engineers up to Rs. 10 lakh to avoid bottlenecks and delays. It was being examined by the Government.