'Fuel crisis' hits work on road to BIA

'Fuel crisis' hits work on road to BIA

IOC holds up diesel supply for non-payment of bills

'Fuel crisis' hits work on road to BIA

A hassle-free drive to Bengaluru International Airport ( BIA) would take more time to be a reality as the work on upgrading the 22-km stretch on National Highway 7 has come to a abrupt halt.

The Indian Oil Corporation has stopped supply of diesel to Navayuga Engineering Company Limited, the implementing agency, for non-payment of bills.

According to a field officer of the IOC, there had been no supply of fuel for 15 days and hence the construction work has come to a halt at many points on the corridor. Diesel is essential for tar plant and concrete mixers, apart from vehicles at the construction site.
Sources in the National Highway Authority of India said the project requires at least 5,000 litre of diesel a day.

The upgrading project involves construction of an elevated road, flyovers, underpasses and service roads.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded the contract to Navayuga on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

A reality check by Deccan Herald revealed that barring patch works at a few points, there was no work on most parts of the stretch.

A traffic policeman at Kodigehalli Cross said vehicles had stopped coming to the work site and there was hardly any work going on for the past two weeks.

Shankar, Project Manager, Navayuga, said there were some issues with the IOC, which will be sorted out in two to three days. He said the company had not stopped the work, and even if there was a delay, they would make it up in the coming months and meet the deadline.

However, sources in the NHAI said Navayuga has delayed payments to sub-contractors. As a result, contractors are not employing workers.

The multi-crore project has been facing several problems since its launch in September 2010, including disputes over land acquisition at Byatarayanapura, Jakkur, Vidya Nagar Cross along Bellary Road and the recent controversy over toll collection near the trumpet interchange of BIA. The matter is pending before court.

The initial deadline for the project was early 2013, and the NHAI officials say they are expecting to complete the project by May 2013. However, it may take many more months considering the tardy work.

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