Mangalore, Aug 16: The long pending demand of Mangaloreans to build a road under-bridge (RUB) in lieu of level crossing on Padil-Bajal road near Mangalore Junction Railway station may be fulfilled in a few months as Union railway minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Saturday laid foundation stone for the bridge.

Addressing the gathering at the formally laying foundation stone for the RUB, Mr Gowda said that the new under-bridge was being built at a cost of Rs 5.61 crores and it would be completed and ready for use by February 2015.

The much awaited project is being initiated on 50:50 cost sharing by the State government and the Railways. The State government had paid Rs 2.28 crore as its share. The MCC has paid Rs 51 lakh. The barrel length of the RUB is 23 metres.

The minister said that mechanised laundry will come up at Mangalore Central Railway Station. Two escallators also will be installed shortly at the same station.

District-in-charge minister B Ramanath Rai presided over the programme. Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, Mayor Mahabala Marla, Mangalore South MLA J R Lobo, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Capt Ganesh Karnik, Zilla panchayat president Asha Thimmappa Gowda, corporators Vijay Kumar Shetty and Sudhir Shetty and others were present on the occasion.

2009 project

In fact, the Railways had communicated to the 15th Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel in November 2009 that the proposal had been included in the list of approved works, thereby raising hopes that the road users were in for a relief.

The announcement had come after several protests and appeals for the construction of a bridge to provide unhindered movement of vehicles at the level crossing (No. 146). However, there was little progress thereafter.

The issue had figured in several meetings held by Mr. Kateel to review railway projects and about six months ago, it was decided that the foundation stone should be laid in October 2013.

But objections raised by the CRS came as a fresh hurdle in the project. However, the project received clearance from the Railways gradually.

Busy crossing

Palakkad’s Additional Divisional Railway Manager Mohan A. Menon had said that since the manned level crossing was one of the busiest, the movement of trains could not be stopped for the construction of the bridge. Hence the RUB would be constructed using the box-pushing technology, drilling the earth 7m below the surface.

People of Faisalnagar, Veernagar, Vijaynagar, Bajal and Jelligudde had been writing letters to authorities pointing out that more than 40,000 people were living in the vicinity of the level-crossing where the gate is closed frequently – more that 30 times in a day.

Proposed Road Under Bridge over LC No.146-B

Today, a new chapter begins in rail and road safety at Kankanadi as the foundation stone is laid for an RUB at Km 6 / 100 – 200 near Mangalore Junction railway station. This level crossing is situated on the busy Padil – Bajal road in Kankanadi. Heavy traffic flows through this road and closure of the level crossing gates leads to piling up of road vehicles on either sides. Hence, a road under bridge has been proposed at this location.

Construction of an RUB here will be fruition of a long-felt demand of numerous road users, who are facing much inconvenience due to traffic bottle necks and confronting frequent closure of the level crossing gates. The proposed RUB will be a boon for road users as it will help in de-congesting roads and ensuring continuous and smooth flow of road traffic. The operational efficiency of the railway will also improve as undesirable situations like gate failures will be eliminated. The estimated cost of construction of this RUB is Rs.5.61 crores and the contribution by the Corporation of Mangalore towards this project is Rs.2,80,67,953.

After the dignitaries addressed the gathering, the function drew to a close and Shri Anand Prakash, Divisional Railway Manager, Palakkad Division delivered the vote of thanks.

Salient features of the Road Under Bridge:

Road connected: Bajal – Padil Road
Location: Near Mangalore Junction Railway Station
Estimated cost: Rs. 5.61 crores
Contribution by MCC: Rs.2,80,67,953
Method of construction: Box pushing
Barrel length: 23 metres
Size : 07.50 m x 5.78 m ( inside ), 12.10 m x 7.53 m ( outside )

Courtesy : Coastal Digest