GHMC’s tunnel project hits an impasse

The steel structure at Punjagutta, which is part of the project for easing traffic flow between Inner Ring Road and Outer Ring Road near Khajaguda under SRDP.   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

GHMC’s much-cherished project of linking the Inner Ring Road with the Outer Ring Road, providing seamless connectivity between both, may have hit an impasse owing to paucity of funds.

The project proposed under the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP) envisages unhindered passage of traffic between Punjagutta and the ORR via Jubilee Hills, Madhapur and Khajaguda.

The flyover built on Road No. 45 and the cable stayed bridge on the Durgam Cheruvu are parts of the same project which the civic body has managed to complete albeit with enormous delay.

After Durgam Cheruvu, however, the project has hit a road block, as sufficient funds could not be marshalled to go further to the subsequent component as planned.

“A left turn ahead of the Durgam Cheruvu near the Inorbit Mall would lead to a hillock. It being a Heritage Zone, flattening of the hillock would have given rise to vociferous protests from conservationists. In order to circumvent the issue, we had planned a tunnel right underneath the hillock which would land us in Khajaguda,” an official said on condition of anonymity.

Proposed in 2017, the four-lane tunnel was to be built along a length of 550 metres, supported by flyovers on either side to simplify the access. The total cost of construction from Durgam Cheruvu up to ORR was estimated to be ₹875 crore, of which the tunnel alone would have cost ₹250 crore, officials say.

A private consultancy was hired to prepare Detailed Project Report, and the project was aimed to be completed within less than nine months after calling for the tenders. However, over four years after the proposal, there is nothing on the ground to show.

The SRDP components were initially funded by issuing bonds, and later by a term loan. In the current scenario precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been considerable dent in the revenue for the government and payment of interest on the existing loans itself would be a huge burden, opined officials, casting doubts on the possibility of the project being taken further.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 6:04:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ghmcs-tunnel-project-hits-an-impasse/article34936330.ece

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