Karnataka

Smart City Ltd. says it will complete Town Hall underpass by May

Except digging, no civil work has begun 45 days after closing of one carriageway of Maidan Road in Hampanakatte for the construction of the pedestrian underpass.

Except digging, no civil work has begun 45 days after closing of one carriageway of Maidan Road in Hampanakatte for the construction of the pedestrian underpass.   | Photo Credit: Anil Kumar Sastry

‘Presence of utility cables delayed commencement of actual civil work’

Notwithstanding the delay in commencing civil work for the pedestrian underpass between Mini Vidhana Soudha and Town Hall beneath Maidan Road, Mangalore Smart City Ltd., (MSCL) is confident of completing the ₹6 crore project before the onset of the monsoon.

While the carriageway from A.B. Shetty Circle to Clock Tower was closed for traffic from November 28, no civil work, except the earth work, has commenced so far. Traffic on this stretch has been diverted via Hamilton Circle-Rao and Rao Circle as well as Service Bus Stand Road even as motorists have been criticising the delay in completion of the project.

Charles Lobo, who regularly commutes on his car between Morgan’s Gate and K.S. Rao Road, said crossing Nehru Maidan area has become a nightmare during peak hours. The stretch from Hamilton Circle to Rao and Rao Circle and then till Clock Tower on Bibi Alabi Road/Maidan Road is packed with buses and hawkers. Though potholes and craters on the Service Bus Stand Road are filled, the road remains bumpy because of haphazard work, he lamented.

Mohammed Nazeer, MD, MSCL, however said the actual civil work could not be taken up following the presence of huge bunch of utility cables — telephone and power — on the stretch. “Though we knew their presence beforehand, time was required to shift them,” he told The Hindu.

Mangalore Electricity Supply Company had to shift a 33 kV underground cable supplying power to Forum Fiza Mall. The challenge was the presence of over 50 telephone cables, each with an average 1,200 connections catering to various government and private offices in the Central Business District, belonging to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., he said.

BSNL had to lay new cables first and cut the old ones before establishing connections to new ones. Only about two cables could be taken up in a day so as not to hamper telephone/broadband connections in the region, he explained.

Shifting of cables is now complete and actual civil works, including construction of a concrete box would soon commence. By March-end, the carriageway would be restored and work beneath the other carriageway would be undertaken. At any cost, the underpass should be ready before the end of May, he said.

Gandhi Park to be spruced up

Gandhi Park in front of Town Hall where the pedestrian underpass connecting Mini Vidhana Soudha and Town Hall beneath Maidan Road opens up, will be spruced up by Mangalore Smart City Ltd.

Besides improving the landscape of the park, the intention was to have regular footfalls in the area so as to discourage nuisance for underpass users, said Chandrakanth Bannoth, MSCL’s Executive Engineer. The presence of people with seating arrangements to relax in the park would discourage nuisance-makers from indulging in other activities, he explained.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 12:05:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/smart-city-ltd-says-it-will-complete-town-hall-underpass-by-may/article30597020.ece

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