Highway work delay: DC told to file criminal case

Highway work delay: DC told to file criminal case

Minister for Urban Development U T Khader speaks at a review meeting in Mangaluru on Saturday on the status of national highways in Dakshina Kannada district.

Minister for Urban Development U T Khader has directed Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil to file a criminal case against Navayuga construction company for failing to complete the four-laning of NH 66.

The delay has resulted in loss of life and inconveniencing the public. The enquiry should be conducted by the deputy commissioner, instructed the minister.

He was speaking at a meeting on the status of National Highway in Mangaluru on Saturday.

Taken to task

Khader took to task the Navayuga representative and even the NHAI official failed to furnish details from their respective fronts. The representative and the official agreed that work had come to a standstill over the last few months.

NHAI engineer Ajith, who too agreed that work was at a standstill, said, “Even after being issued notice, Navayuga had failed to respond. At a meeting in Bengaluru last week, the company representatives had promised to accelerate the work.”

The Navayuga construction company representative said that the company is facing financial crunch. The work was delayed as the funds were not provided in time. The banks have promised to release the fund and the work will be accelerated. The Thokkottu flyover will be completed by December-end while the Pumpwell flyover will be completed by March 2019.

After taking the officials to task, the minister said that in spite of review for the last five years, the work has remained incomplete. “We cannot keep quiet,” he said and directed the deputy commissioner to file a criminal case.

Reports ready

Reacting to it, DC Sasikanth Senthil said that he has received several reports on the Navayuga company. “I have decided to commence the enquiry under CrPC. If they cannot complete, we can at least make an alternative arrangement. People too have lost patience. The enquiry will be conducted through AC,” he said.

The delay in completing the national highway work has resulted in a series of accidents. If any accidents and deaths take place in future, murder case will be booked against Navayuga representatives and NHAI officials, Senthil warned.

Merge of tolls

The NHAI official said that the process of merging Surathkal toll with Hejamady toll is in the final stage. The file is in the NHAI regional office.

“Once we get approval letter from the Navayuga company, the final notification will be issued and the Surathkal toll plaza will be closed. Later, the toll from Hejamady to Nanthoor Circle will be collected at Hejamady toll plaza,” he promised.

The minister objected to collection of toll from the residents of Hejamady to Mulki and Surathkal, to which, the deputy commissioner asked to submit a report.