Shiradi Ghat stretch open for traffic

Shiradi Ghat stretch open for traffic

A sum of Rs 280 crore has been released for development of roads: Minister for Public Works

Addressing a press conference after inspecting the repair works of Shiradi Ghat stretch on NH 48 on Saturday, he said the grant has been allocated to three categories of constituencies on the basis of their population and progress.

Rs 1.37 crore each has been allocated to 41 backward constituencies; Rs 2.10 crore each has been allocated to 40 other constituencies which are considered as ‘more backward’; while Rs 3.18 crore each has been allocated to 40 ‘the most backward’ constituencies, the minister informed.

Rs 93.81 crore has been released under the special component programme (SCP) while Rs 21.82 crore has been given under the tribal development scheme.

A sum of Rs 100 crore has been released under Suvarna Rasthe Yojane, he added.
Udasi said the government has decided to develop 22,000 km toll roads in its purview under the public private partnership (PPP) model. Private agencies have already shown interest in taking up the project for 6,000 km to 8,000 km road.

Stating the overloaded vehicles are the main reason for the frequent problems on the ghat stretch, the minister said there are plans to establish two weigh bridges, 16 tonne and 24 tonne capacity respectively, at Bairapura near Sakleshpur in order to have a control on the traffic.

Udasi said the Public Works Department has taken up three separate projects with a budget of Rs 33.10 crore on the Shiradi ghat stretch of NH 48.

Though a stay was brought against the project, the government has been successful in convincing the court on the urgency of the works there.

Even the CBI officials who are investigating into the alleged scam in the previous project have consented.

The spoiled stretch has been repaired at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore and the road is completely ready for vehicular movement, he added.

Repairs before monsoon

The State National Highways Department is working overtime to complete repair works of the damaged portion of Shiradi Ghat road ( NH-48) before the onset of the monsoons.
Except for the three km-stretch between Sakleshpura and Gundya cross, the department has already completed all repair works of the road under the first phase.

Under the second phase, shoulder drains, culverts and retaining walls will be constructed, besides asphalting the 3 km stretch, at the cost of Rs 10 crore.

The plan is to complete all these works by June 15 -- before the onset of monsoon and ensure that traffic flow is smooth on the route, the NH officials said.

In October last year, High court of Karnataka ordered a CBI probe into the alleged substandard work done by contractors appointed by the NH on this route.

The court order came as Shiradi Ghat road -- between Sakleshpura and Subrahmanya cross -- withered away within a few days of completion of repair work.

 As the CBI was probing into the case, the NH was not able to take up the repair work. So, it approached the court and sought permission for it. The court gave the green signal to repair the road in January 2009.

The NH then took up the first phase of repair work.

According to the NH officials, a special asphalt is being used on this stretch so that the road can withstand heavy rains for longer period.

Heavy rains in the Ghat region is one of the reasons for frequent damage of the road, officials said.

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