Underpass, flyover works add to commuters' woes

Underpass, flyover works add to commuters' woes

The troubles of commuters and motorists, travelling on Basrur-Murkai Junction and Shastri Circle on National Highway 66 in Kundapur, have only increased.

Reason: The Navyug Company has initiated work on an underpass at Basrur-Murkai Junction and a flyover at Shastri Circle simultaneously. 

The Basrur-Murkai Junction, where roads converge from six directions, was declared as an accident-prone zone decades ago. The junction connects roads leading to interior areas in Kundapur taluk and also to places in Shivamogga (district).

The management of traffic at this junction, considered chaotic, has been a nightmare for traffic cops.

Further, work on the construction of flyover at Shastri Circle,  ahead of Basrur-Murkai Junction, launched months ago, is still in the initial stage with pillars (pier) being constructed.

The Navyug company, which is constructing the the flyover at a snail's pace, has been warned of stringent action if the work on the project was not completed at the earliest by Assistant Commissioner of Kundapur.

In September 2010, the work on widening the highway, at a total cost of Rs 671 crore was awarded to Navyug Company.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had contributed its matching share of 221.43 crore (about 20 per cent) and Navyug Company had invested the remaining amount. 

The company had agreed to recover its investment by collecting toll for next 20 years. If the work had begun as planned, the road widening project would have been completed by 2013. The slow progress of work has worsened the sufferings of commuters and motorists.

"People are fed up with the condition of the national highway," Sathish Kamath, a regular commuter, told DH.

"Initially, we all heaved a sigh of relief when the NH widening proposal received approval from Central government. But now we are all disappointed," he lamented.

The district administration has installed signs directing commuters to use service roads at Murkai junction. But the service roads are also in a pathetic condition, Kamath added.

The service roads, on either side of the NH, are linked to the highway.

The construction of an underpass and a flyover within a short distance has left the residents puzzled.

Kishore Kumar of Kundapur Taluk Nagarika Horata Samiti has accused the Navyug Company of keeping the public in dark about the underpass project at Basrur-Murkai Junction.

"If the underpass project is implemented, there will be no space left to park autorickshaws and private buses. There will be massive traffic congestion," he added.

Many commuters were also of the opinion that instead of an underpass, a flyover would have eased the traffic congestion at the junction. 

The members of Samiti have decided to stage protest if the company goes ahead with the unscientific underpass project.

The Samiti will take up the issue in the next round of discussions with the assistant commissioner.

"If the demand of commuters and samithi falls on deaf ears, we will have no option left but to intensify the protest," Kumar said.

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