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Vijayawada: A grim reminder of official lethargy

Vijayawada: A grim reminder of official lethargy
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Highlights

The six-lane single pier Kanaka Durga flyover, one of its kind seen only in metropolitan cities of Delhi and Mumbai, is nearing completion.

Vijayawada: The six-lane single pier Kanaka Durga flyover, one of its kind seen only in metropolitan cities of Delhi and Mumbai, is nearing completion. Started in December 2015 with a project cost of Rs 320 crore, the 2.6 km long flyover has failed to meet many deadlines because of various reasons including delays in payment of bills, Krishna Pushkaralu, several rituals and festivities at Durga temple.

The flyover is a best example how people suffer when governments fail to show the same enthusiasm in finishing the projects as they exhibit at the time of starting them.

"Ninety percent of flyover works are over. While structural part is complete, finishing part is still pending," says G John Moshae, Superintending Engineer, Roads & Buildings.

Disclosing the details to 'The Hans India' here on Sunday, he said that the construction of 44 spans was completed. Only two spans have to be built. The viaduct at VMC office is nearing completion. Pillars and slabs are being laid instead of wall and the state government has approved for the same. Out of total six slabs construction of five slabs finished. At the Rajiv Gandhi Park, the approach road is almost completed. Work relating to expansion joints, wearing coat of concrete, crash barrier (wall on river side) and central lighting is progressing at different stages, he says.

The flyover connecting Bhavanipuram and Kanaka Durgamma Varadhi was initially planned for one year. Later, its project period was set as three years. After many deadlines, it took over four years to complete it.

The flyover is crucial for several reasons. Prior to the construction of the flyover there were frequent traffic jams every day on the national highway between Bhavanipuram and Kaleswararao market (via Durga Temple). The vehicle rush was heavy on the road because of the movement of thousands of trucks operated between Mumbai and Chennai. The traffic problems of the city aggregated when goods vehicles were banned on Prakasam barrage. The trucks used to enter the city to pass through Kanaka Durgamma Varadhi.

There was hardly any day without traffic jams those days. At the time of rituals at Durga temple, the traffic on highway had come to a grinding halt and vehicles were stranded for several hours on both sides. It was a headache for the traffic police to control the situation as drivers and vehicle riders were eager to overtake others. In this feat, many accidents took place.

It was testing time for the police then to reach the accident spot. Such was the horrible traffic scene when the then Chandrababu Naidu government preferred flyover to solve the problem. In fact, he staged a dharna demanding that the Congress government built the flyover earlier. The Congress government did not make any attempt to solve the issue on the pretext of difficulties involved in building it partially on River Krishna. When Chandrababu Naidu came to power in the newly carved state of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, he took up the issue.

However, the biggest challenge was traffic diversion when the flyover construction began. Vehicles coming from Hyderabad direction were diverted at Gollapudi onto the bypass road. From there, they pass through Sitara Centre, Kabela, Milk Project. Chitti Nagar, Kothapet, Panja, Railway station and Kaleswara Rao Market to enter the city. Similarly, the vehicles in opposite direction have to take diversion at Kaleswararao market itself to follow the same route to enter highway at Gollapudi. This resulted in extra travel time of 30 minutes. Traffic jams at several junctions on the way has been a regular feature since 2015.

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