Delay in tree felling affects Mahamastakabhisheka works

Delay in tree felling affects Mahamastakabhisheka works

Even as the preparations to host Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka in Shravanabelagola in 2018 has started, delay by the forest department in felling the trees has affected road widening works.

The Karnataka State Highways and Public Works department have decided to upgrade eight routes connecting Shravanabelagola in view of the festival. In all, 636 trees on both sides of the roads have been identified for felling for road widening. But the Forest department has not taken any steps in this regard.

The Centre had sanctioned Rs 40 crore under Centre Road Fund (CRF) for the purpose, and in the first phase, the 16-km stretch between Channarayapatna and Shravanabelagola town would be widened completely with asphaltation and concrete drains. It is said that Rs 1.41 crore has been earmarked for the development of every kilometre.

The existing roads would be widened by 7-10 metres and asphaltation will also be taken up. But the works are being delayed as hundreds of trees, electricity poles and transformers on the stretch have to be removed and relocated.

It is said a few houses and buildings are also hindering the works in Shravanabelagola town.

Speaking to DH, H Ramesh, Assistant Engineer, National Highway Authority of India, said though letters have been written to KPTCL and Forest department, there was no response. The delay in clearing trees and electricity poles have affected the works. If it is done, the road works can be completed by mid-January, he assured.

Auction

Range Forest Officer Hemanth said the auction process for felling 636 trees were completed. But, the four contractors who made the final bid for Rs 22 lakh, have failed to remit the amount to the department. Hence, the auction has to be conducted again, and the process will take one more month, he added.

Meanwhile, about 20 roads of the district are being developed as part of Mahamastakabhisheka at a cost of Rs 147.7 crore.

With a slew of programmes being organised as part of the Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka and lakhs expected to visit the town, hundreds of vehicles will be plying on the road. If the works are not completed on time, it would cause a problem for the commuters, opined resident Manjunath.

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