Mangaluru: Deepak Poojari, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Town Planning and Improvement, Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) has promised to ensure that all concrete roads in the city will get shoulder drains and footpaths soon. MCC has faced severe criticism from the public in this regard, owing to the hazards for pedestrians, who are left with no choice but to walk on the roads.
Besides constructing drains and pavements, there is also proposal to improve important road junctions in the city. The junction improvement is expected to smoothen traffic flow as well as offer convenient crossings for pedestrians.
Poojari told The Hindu that though about Rs. 90 crore are available under a category called the FAR funds, about Rs. 25 crore are expected to be spent for all these works.
He said that since the Corporation’s attempt to get the drains and pavements constructed en-masse did not attract contractors, the MCC is likely to split the work into pieces worth less than Rs. 50 lakh and award the same to many contractors. “This, on one hand, would attract many contractors and on the other, would speed up the work”, he said
The issue is likely to come up before the MCC Council meeting on Saturday and get the approval. Once it is approved, the corporation would invite bids for construction, totaling for about 10 km stretch of concrete roads, he said. Since there were only a handful of contractors who are eligible to undertake works worth over Rs. 1 crore, there had been a lukewarm response for earlier invitations to bid for construction of drains and footpaths, Poojari said.
He also said that while constructing drains and pavements, the contractors would also have to take care of utility lines—water, electricity and telephone—that pass beneath.
During a road safety committee meeting held a couple of months back, social activist G. Hanumanth Kamath had pointed out that big contractors were not interested in undertaking piece works of building drains and pavements. He had urged the Corporation to award the work to small contractors by splitting the same.