No decision yet on closing down Shiradi Ghat for Phase II works

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If the works commenced in January they could be completed by April, says an official

With no decision being taken on closing down the Shiradi Ghat on Mangaluru-Bengaluru National Highway for the second stage reconstruction works, an official told a meeting presided over by B. Ramanath Rai, Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada here on Tuesday that the works may begin from January.

An official of the Mangaluru division of the National Highways, under the Public Works Department, maintained that if the works commenced from January they could be completed in four months by April.

The official told the Karnataka Development Programme Review Committee meeting that two concrete paver machines — dry lean concrete (DLC) and pavement quality concrete (PQC) — are yet to arrive at the project site.

Later, in an informal chat with the media, the official said that the contractor – GVR Infra Projects Ltd. – had stored 44 per cent of the material required to take up the works. He said that the Ghat would have to be closed down in order that the works could be taken up else the quality of works would suffer. It has been 13 months since the company bagged the contract. As per the terms, works should be completed within 18 months of awarding the contract.

Package 2 of reconstruction involved construction of a concrete road of 13 km between Kempu Hole Guest House and Adda Hole near Gundya at a cost of Rs. 85 crore and laying a fresh bitumen road for 21 km between Gulagale and Heggadde at a cost of Rs. 33 crore.

Package 1 involving construction of concrete road for 13 km between Heggadde and Kempu Hole Guest House was completed between January and August 2015.

The meeting passed a resolution to recommend that the government relocate the toll collection booth at Brahmarakootlu between Mangaluru and B.C. Road to a spacious location, even as an official of the National Highways Authority of India said that it was a temporary one and it would be merged with the Kundapura-Talapady highway project once completed.

Sand blocks

The Deputy Commissioner K.G. Jagadeesha said that the district administration has identified 30 more sand blocks in the non-CRZ (coastal regulatory zone) area in the district in addition to the 19 blocks in non-CRZ areas permitted for lifting sand. He said that of one lakh cubic ft of sand stored by lifting from the 19 blocks, 9,000 cubic ft of sand has been lifted.

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