With road works stalled, NH-167 offers bumpy ride to commuters
Mahbubnagar: The potholes-ridden national highway 167 connecting Jadcherla with Mahbubnagar is giving jitters to motorists as they have to travel the road putting their lives at risk.
Though the Central government had declared the highway connecting Jadcherla in Telangana to Raichur in Karnataka as NH-167 and had even sanctioned Rs 75 crore for the widening of the road from Jadcherla to Marikal in the initial phase and completed 80 per cent, the stretch connecting Jadcherla-Mahbubnagar has been left out.
The main reason for this is that the highway passing through the centre of Mahbubnagar is crowded with various shopping malls, shops and households which need to be removed to make way for expansion. However, as the government is yet to acquire the lands for expansion and have to pay the compensation to shop owners, the road expansion works have been delayed.
Moreover, unlike the stretch between Devarkadra-Mahbubnagar which is a two lane road that has been completed at a faster pace, the stretch between Jadcherla-Mahbubnagar has been proposed to be made into a four-lane road with a width of 120 feet.
This has led to re-evaluate the project cost which is now pegged at Rs 193 crore.
As the width is increased, the land acquisition has also become a problem. Because of which, the works are being delayed further.
Another reason is the continuous conduct of elections in the last six months and imposition of model code of conduct for the inordinate delay in completion of road works.
However, while there are many reasons for delay of road expansion of 167, the recent unseasonal rains that lashed the district have also contributed to the worsening of road causing potholes deep enough for any vehicle to get overturned if not noticed properly.
"We are witnessing at least one or two accidents on this road a day.
Driving on this road is as if we are risking our lives as the potholes are so deep, if one is not alert, he is sure to face death," said Mohammad Husain, an auto driver in Mahbubnagar.
When The Hans India tried to get status and over view report on the progress of the NH-167 stretch between Jadcherla and Mahbubnagar, and the main highway passing through the Mahbubnagar municipality limits, the officials said that they have decided to expand the major highway to 120 feet and accordingly, they have also gained road development plan by Mahbubnagar municipality authorities approved by the State planning department.
"Expansion works of Mahbubnagar main highway is delayed due to various reasons. In fact, it should have been completed long back.
But because of continuous elections, problems in land acquisition and imposition of model code of conduct, the road construction works have been delayed. However, with the government clearing all hurdles, we are expecting the remaining pending works to be completed by next year," said a senior engineer from the National Highways Authority of India.