FOB, skywalk proposals in limbo

MA&UD Dept. announced 52 FOBs and eight skywalks last July

The much-publicised construction of foot-over-bridges by GHMC authorities has not crossed the tender stage in the city, one year after the announcement, putting pedestrian infrastructure on the back foot yet again.

Even while the corporation is going ahead with installation of metal railing on central medians on a few stretches in the name of preventing accidents, facilities for crossing the ever-expanding roads are falling woefully shorter by the day.

The Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) department had, in July last, announced construction of 52 foot-over-bridges (FOBs) and eight skywalks in all six zones of GHMC.

While the FOBs were planned across single roads, the skywalks were proposed at busy junctions to facilitate crossing over to any end without having to negotiate with traffic, or waiting for the signal.

GHMC has since called for tenders for construction of the FOBs and skywalks in four packages, with an estimated expenditure of ₹208 crore.

“We had to call for tenders six times, as there was no response from bidders. With majority of the FOBs proposed in EPC mode and lacking advertisement component, the offer is not very attractive to them,” says a senior official.

Tenders have been evaluated for two packages with 27 FOBs and five skywalks in all, to be constructed at L.B. Nagar, Khairatabad and Secunderabad zones, and have been sent for government’s approval. Two more packages with 25 FOBs and three skywalks to come up in Charminar, Kukatpally and Serilingampally, are with the Commissionerate of Tenders for evaluation.

“It has been eight months since the proposals have been sent to the MA&UD Department, but we have not yet heard from them,” says the official.

The process was hit by successive elections for state legislature and Parliament initially, as model code of conduct came in the way of issuing work orders. Three months after the final election results were announced, the proposals still lie in limbo.

The project has already been delayed endlessly since the formation of GHMC. During the recent years, the then MA&UD minister K.T. Rama Rao asked HMDA to construct a part of them. With HMDA expressing inability to take up the job, the MA&UD has asked the agency for part funding for construction of 39 FOBs. The remaining 13 were to be constructed in Public-Private-Partnership mode, with limited advertising scope.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 9:10:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/fob-skywalk-proposals-in-limbo/article28873222.ece

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