East Hill Road Repair: Harbour Departmen puts the onus on Corporation, KSUDP
They first requested, then knocked at all possible doors in the corridors of power and later protested, but nothing happened, except setting a series of deadlines, only to be broken. The one-and-a-half-kilometre Manjunatha Rao Road, connecting Chakkorathukulam to East Hill, continues to remain in a dilapidated condition, giving a back-breaking ride to motorists. And, it seems that only a divine intervention would restore it. Both, the City Corporation and the Harbour Engineering Department are passing the buck on the matter. While the Corporation maintains that the responsibility of repairing the road is with the Harbour Engineering Department, the latter washes its hands of the issue by stating that it has no provision to repair the road. The road has been in a bad shape for more than two years now. The stretch was included in the Coastal Road Development project for minor refurbishment and Rs 65 lakh was allocated to the Harbour Engineering Department for maintenance, including the construction of drains. But, the KSUDP sewerage project soon came as an uninvited guest, derailing the entire proposal. The rest is before us - a potholed road creating a marshy situation during rains and fanning dust under a clear sky. Although two deadlines were set for the repair of the road - first, on September 18 and then on October 18, both the dates were missed, with the authorities maintaining silence on a new date. Mayor A K Premajam says that the civic body is helpless on the matter as it is for the Harbour Engineering department to carry out the tarring works. “It is very unfortunate that the road remains in a pathetic condition, but the City Corporation is helpless on the matter. It has been decided that the Harbour Engineering Department will carry out the tarring works. However, we do not know the reasons behind the delay,” says the Mayor. She also says that if the Harbour Engineering department was unwilling to take up the work, it should have informed the Corporation of its decision, as we would have explored further options. However, this is being contradicted by the Harbour Engineering Department, stating that the fund allocated under the Coastal Road Development two years ago cannot be utilized now for the repair of this road. “It is true that fund was sanctioned to the Harbour Engineering Department for carrying out the maintenance of Manjunatha Rao Road. But we were not able to complete the works following takeover of the road by the KSUDP for the sewerage project. We had closed the file and terminated the contract of the work awarded. Now it is not possible to carry out the tarring works using that fund as the cost of the project has escalated from the time of preparation of estimate. "As there is no provision for us to repair the road, we have informed our decision to the authorities concerned and it is for the KSUDP and the City Corporation to take a call on the matter,” says P Latha, Executive Engineer, Harbour Engineering Department.