VIJAYAWADA: Though there was some progress in the pace of construction work of Kanaka Durga temple flyover in recent months, the completion of the project would take a lot more time.
The initial deadline for the completion of the flyover project was set for December, 2016. However, only 65 per cent of the works were completed by April of 2018.
The contracting agency Soma Enterprise Limited, despite getting an extension of deadline by six months, are expected to complete the construction work by January, 2019.
Explaining the progress of works, the superintending engineer of the Roads and Buildings department, G John Moshae, said that going by the present pace of works, the flyover works would see completion only by end of the current year or January, 2019.
To ease traffic congestion near the Durga temple, the government had taken up four-laning work of the flyover, connecting the Kolkata-Chennai national highway (NH 16) and the Vijayawada-Hyderabad National Highway (NH 65) with the six lane elevated flyover from Kanaka Durga Varadhi to Bhavanipuram.
After calling tenders, the Rs 282.4 crore work was allocated to Soma Enterprises in November, 2015 with a condition the agency should complete the work by December, 2016. The State government, at one point of time, even wanted completion of the flyover by August, 2016 as the Krishna Pushkarams were slated in that month.
However, the agency failing to meet the deadlines-- even after receiving many cooperations from the State government like diverting traffic to allow smooth flow of works. Even Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had expressed his dissatisfaction over the delay in completion of the project and also cautioned to take action against the management of Soma Enterprise Limited.
Admitting that there is delay in works, the superintending engineer stated financial limitations of the contracting agency as one of the causes for the delay. “However, the works are now progressing well for some weeks and we are confident that we will complete the works within nine months from now,” he said.
Stating that changing the contracting agency was not an option anymore at this juncture, the official opined that any such decision would only result in further delay of the project, besides escalation of cost. As the existing contractor already has the necessary machines, along with skilled manpower, it is better to allow the agency to continue working on the project, he said.
Meanwhile, it is also learnt that release of funds to the contractor was not on the expected lines. The contractor was supposed to get at least `6 to `8 crore, but the norms of the Union Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways led to delay in fund release.
The commuters who regularly used the roads also suffered a lot due to restrictions and diversions imposed by the police. However, there have been some respite since two-wheelers and four-wheelers are being allowed to use the flyover.
While the piling works were nearly complete, pier and pier cap works saw 85 per cent completion. Casting of spine and wings were completed by 75 and 63 per cent respectively. However, erection of spine and wings stood at only 52 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Progress of Durga Temple flyover at a glance
Length of project - 5.290 km
Contract price - 282.40 crore
Commencement of Works - December 28, 2015
Deadline - December, 2016, but failed to meet
What now: Expected to be completed by January, 2019
65 % - Physical progress of the works
53.3 % - Financial progress (Rs 150.54 crore spent against the total Rs 282.4 crore)