KARNATAKA

Mayor expresses concern over hill being cleared



Special Correspondent

`Several buildings in the vicinity are facing danger'

Ten families have been relocated The builder has been asked to construct a retaining wall immediately Builders say that restriction on movement of trucks is affecting the work

MANGALORE: Mayor of Mangalore K. Ashraf has expressed concern over the move by a builder to clear a hill in the middle of the city for the construction of a commercial complex. Several buildings in Light House Hill on K.S. Rao Road have been put to danger because of this.

Mr. Ashraf told The Hindu that he has directed the builder concerned to provide alternative dwellings to the residents of buildings on the hill.

Shifted

On Thursday about ten families were shifted to safe places, he added. Mr. Ashraf said it is wrong on the part of the corporation to have issued a licence for such a risky project. It is also unfortunate that the builder has cleared the hill to such an extent as to have altered the topography of the city permanently, he added. Mr. Ashraf said he has directed the builder to take up construction of the retaining wall immediately so that the buildings on the hill can be saved.

However, the builders have complained to the Mayor that the police are restricting movement of concrete mixer trucks to only a few hours at night, and because of this it is difficult to complete the work on time.

The police have given their reasons for restricting the movement of huge trucks on these roads between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The main approach road, K.S. Rao Road, is one of the busiest in Mangalore and connects Kodialbail and Hampankatta.

In front of SCDCC Bank the road is narrow, causing bottlenecks before the turning to Kodialbail. Trucks, therefore, cannot be allowed in such conditions, the police said. Superintendent of Police B. Dayananda criticised the builders for clearing the hill without a licence.

He said he will not jeopardise the smooth movement of vehicles in the area by allowing trucks to pass on the road during the day.

When the Mayor met the Deputy Commissioner, the latter assured the Mayor that he will request the Police Superintendent to make special arrangements for the movement of concrete trucks on this stretch until the retaining wall is completed and the buildings on the hill are made stable.

District in-charge Minister B. Nagaraja Shetty, who will be in Mangalore on Saturday, told The Hindu that he is alarmed that such unsafe construction practices are being followed in Mangalore. He said he will visit the site.