Raviprasad Kamila

They are coming in the way of widening work on NH 17

  • Shifting of water supply pipelines affected by structures
  • They exist at other places on the highways too

    MANGALORE: Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada M. Maheshwar Rao has written to Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) Krishnappa Poojary to take steps to remove stalls, small shops and other structures at the Surathkal junction as they are coming in the way of widening work on National Highway 17.

    In a letter dated December 30, 2006, Mr. Rao says that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is carrying out four-lane widening work from Surathkal (on NH 17) to BC Road (on NH 48).

    "It has been intimated to me that some stalls, petty shops and tiled-roof structures existing on the national highway at Surathkal junction have been permitted by the Mangalore City Corporation. They are coming within the proposed road widening of NHAI... They are required to be vacated immediately," the Deputy Commissioner has said.

    The letter says that the shifting of water supply pipelines being done by the corporation on these stretches has been affected due to the presence of these structures, and requests Mr. Poojary to take action at the earliest to get them removed.

    Copies of the letter have been sent to the secretaries of Thumbe and Kallige gram panchayats and the chief officer of the Bantwal Town Panchayat, requesting them to take steps to remove unauthorised constructions, stalls and small shops coming under their jurisdiction on NH 48, to enable the four-lane work to be carried out.

    When asked by The Hindu if the owners of the small shops and stalls at the Surathkal junction had got permission from MCC to set up their businesses there, Mr. Poojary said that the corporation had allowed them to do so after collecting an annual fee. The fee was collected through a contractor who was chosen through a tender called for that purpose. But, the owners did not have any rights over the land, he said, and added that the NHAI could, therefore, get them vacated from there once the term of the tender had ended.

    However, a senior NHAI official told The Hindu that it was the duty of the corporation to evict them. He said that it had come to the notice of the NHAI that many unauthorised structures existed on the sides of both highways at other places. The NHAI would take steps for their demolition in co-ordination with the district administration and police, the official said.