Congress protests against delay in flyover, NH works

Congress protests against delay in flyover, NH works

Congress workers stage a protest at Pumpwell Circle in Mangaluru on Wednesday against the delay in the work of flyovers and poor condition of the national highway.

Congress activists from the south and north blocks staged a protest on Wednesday against the inordinate delay in completing the widening of NH 66, and construction of flyovers at Pumpwell and Thokkottu Junctions.

The protest did not affect the movement of vehicles on the highway. The protesters shouted slogans against the MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and Union government. They also burnt an effigy of Kateel.

Addressing the protesters, former MLA J R Lobo said that it was over eight years since the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) took up the work of constructing the flyovers at Pumpwell and Thokkottu as a part of four-laning of the highway from Talapady to Nanthoor Junction. Despite several meetings with NHAI officials, no progress has been made in the work. The inordinate delay is inconveniencing the public and motorists, he complained.

Further, he accused Kateel of failing to direct the contractor and the NHAI to accelerate the work. “The service road at Bikarnakatte built as a part of four-landing of the highway from Surathkal to B C Road is narrow and unscientific. No efforts have been taken to solve the traffic woes at Nanthoor Junction and KPT Circle,” he said.

“Even the highway stretches are in deplorable condition and the traffic is affected. It was UPA government which sanctioned fund for the work on Shiradi Ghat. The UPA government had initiated a proposal on tunnel in Shiradi Ghat to connect Bengaluru. However, the NDA government has failed to take the proposal forward. The NDA government has failed to take up any development works in Mangaluru,” he alleged.

Even the works on expansion of the runway of the Mangaluru Airport and the Kulai jetty are pending, said the former MLA.

MLC Ivan D’Souza alleged that NH 66 is riddled with potholes. “In spite of sanctioning the widening of the work on NH 169 from Kulshekar to Karkala, no efforts have been taken to wide the stretch. Despite the state government sending a proposal for Rs 38 crore to construct a new Gurpura bridge, the Centre has failed to sanction the required matching grant,” he complained.

D’Souza alleged that the NHAI has provided substandard work on the NH 66 and the government should conduct a probe into this. “The alignment of the widened NH 66 is unscientific. The Union government had upgraded the road connecting Moodbidri from Mangaluru to the national highway 20 years ago. However, no development work has been initiated so far,” he said.

District Youth Congress president Mithun Rai asked how many questions MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had raised in the Parliament in the last 10 years in connection with the development of Dakshina Kannada. The MP is only engaged in instigating communal issues in the district, he alleged.

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