Answer eludes why work on flyover remains incomplete

Construction started 10 years ago, yet there has been delay without any concrete reason

Remaining incomplete even a decade after its construction was taken up by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the Shastri Circle Flyover in Kundapur town in Udupi district is threatening to become a monument on National Highway 66 in the town.

“There was no reason as to why construction of this flyover, part of four-laning of NH 66 between Talapady in Dakshina Kannada and Kundapur in Udupi district, has remained incomplete even after a decade,” wondered Kishore Kumar from the Rashtreeya Heddari Horata Samithi, Kundapur. “As such, we have every reason to fear that it may become a historical monument in the town,” he said.

There were no issues pertaining to land acquisition nor opposition from the general public to the project; yet the flyover as well as about a stretch of a kilometre of the highway within the town from Vinayaka Talkies to Shastri Circle have remained incomplete, he said.

Being the vice-president of the Udupi District Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr. Kumar does not hesitate stating that people’s representatives as well as government officials have let the people of the region down by not ensuring speedy completion of the project. All five Assembly constituencies in the district are represented by BJP legislators and even the four MPs representing the coastal region are from the BJP.

“Yet, these representatives as well as government officials sympathise with the ‘condition’ of the project concessionaire, Navayuga Udupi Tollway Ltd., instead of with the general public who are the actual victims of the project,” he said.

Still, Mr. Kumar said, the work appears to have gathered pace since a fortnight and people are hopeful of it being completed at least before the next monsoon. The project has seen multiple deadlines without there being any concrete reason for the delay in its execution.

A visit to the project site last week revealed very few men and machinery deployed, right from Vinayaka Talkies to Shastri Circle. Looking at the pace of work, it is unlikely to get completed before the next monsoon.

However, Kundapur Assistant Commissioner K. Raju was optimistic and told The Hindu that the concessionaire has promised to complete the work before March this year.

“At present, the company has deployed men and machinery at the incomplete stretch at Padubidri on the same highway and the work is expected to be completed soon. Thereafter, work would be expedited in Kundapur,” Mr. Raju said.

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