Govt goes on a bridging binge

Govt goes on a bridging binge

Gives go ahead for 60 road overbridges and underbridges at one go

Govt goes on a bridging binge

A DH file photo of an overbridge.With this, the Infrastructure Development Department (IDD), the Public Works Department, the BBMP and the BDA, which are entrusted to implement these projects, do not have to keep approaching the government seeking its approval to each one of them. A practice that used to consume a lot of time resulting in delay in implementation. These arms of the government are now empowered to directly deal with the Railways to implement the projects in the current year.

A government order has been issued by the IDD to this effect recently. Any project worth more than Rs five crore has to be vetted by the State government.

Permission

The Government has fixed the average cost of an RoB and an  RuB at Rs 25 crore and Rs 18 crore respectively. However, these agencies have to obtain the government’s permission in case of cost overrun.

Official sources said the State has about 1,200 railway level crossings, including about 50 in Bangalore, where construction of either an RuB or an RoB is necessary for smooth and safe traffic movement. The Railways sanction RuBs and RoBs based on the State government’s proposal. The projects are taken up on priority wherever traffic density is more than one lakh vehicles per day.

The cost of these projects are borne equally by the Railways and the State government agencies if traffic density is more than one lakh vehicles per day.

If the traffic density is less than one lakh, the respective government agency has to bear the entire cost of the project, and the Railways will only help in its implementation.

Co-ordination committee

Besides, the government has constituted a co-ordination committee headed by deputy commissioners at district level and BBMP commissioner in Bangalore city for speedy acquisition of land for these projects.

The committee, official sources said, will have powers to make minor modification in the project design depending on the local demand.

“Implementation of many of the ongoing projects are delayed due to opposition from the local populace. For instance, a RoB being constructed at Pandavapura near Mysore is very steep and the local farmers are opposing it. The farmers are arguing that bullockcarts cannot easily pass the ROB with its existing design,” officials pointed out.

Besides, the government has constituted a steering committee under the Chairmanship of the IDD Principal Secretary to scrutinise proposals for RoB and RuB construction.

The committee will have representatives from Public Works Department, National Highways Authority of India, Karnataka Railways Infrastructure Development Corporation (K-RIDE) and urban local bodies as its members.

On the fast track

*  Twelve of the sixty RoBs and RuBs in Bangalore
*  Average cost of an RoB is Rs 25 crore and that of a RuB is Rs 18 crore
* Co-ordination committees set up to clear hurdles at local level

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