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UGD work takes its toll on roads

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AMENITIES: Administrators compound the problem by leaving the roads dug for underground drainage system without asphalting. The J.B. Lobo Road at Kodical bears testimony of this.
AMENITIES: Administrators compound the problem by leaving the roads dug for underground drainage system without asphalting. The J.B. Lobo Road at Kodical bears testimony of this.

Staff Correspondent

The work has been going on since November, 2005

MANGALORE: The joy of families residing at Port Employees Cooperative Housing Colony at Hosabettu near here turned out to be short-lived. They had the mortification of using the newly asphalted approach road to the colony for barely six months in 2005. An underground drainage (UGD) work, taken up under the Karnataka Urban Development and Coastal Environmental Management Project (KUDCEMP) in November of 2005 laid the re-laid road to waste.

This has been the case of several roads across Mangalore as UGD works are being implemented under the KUDCEMP project by the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC). Setting up a UGD network forms a major part of the project aimed at providing civic amenities for urban dwellers here under the Rs. 306.25-crore Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded scheme. The project is expected to be completed by March 2009.

Recalling his experience with bad state of roads ever since UGD project was taken up at Gorigudda is the president of Nagarika Seva Samiti, Richard Miranda.

“The agencies implementing the project dug up the road for laying the pipeline four years ago.

The road has not been restored to its original condition till now,” he said. The poor state of roads was causing misery to people, pedestrians as well as vehicle users, Mr. Miranda added.

Stating that repeated pleas to authorities to restore the road had fallen on deaf years, Mr. Miranda said that the problem of residents was compounded by the fact that they had to put up with dusty conditions during summer and slushy stretches during monsoon. “Such roads can be dangerous, especially for two-wheeler riders, who skid when the pebbles and stones from the dug up portions come lose,” Mr. Miranda said.

Admitting that the task of laying an underground drainage network was not easy, the deputy project director, KUDCEMP, J.R. Lobo, said that it involved digging up the middle of the road to a certain depth, laying pipelines, constructing manholes and allowing them to cure before filling the trenches.

“These in turn have to be allowed to settle for at least one or two seasons before the loose soil fully compacts itself. The road is initially metalled and asphalted after that,” he said.

Noting that 65 per cent of UGD work had been completed in the city, he said KUIDFC was hopeful of being able to complete the rest of the work by March next. “We have taken up road restoration work in many places. This work will start in places where UGD pipeline had been laid in last year, after the current monsoon season,” he said.

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