Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra on Monday issued a warning to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that criminal cases will be filed against it if potholes on National Highway 75 between BC Road and Adda Hole resulted in any death due to vehicular accidents.
Speaking at the Karnataka Development Programme Review Committee meeting, Mr. Rajendra, who is also the District Magistrate, said that cases will be filed under Section 304 A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He asked the authority to fill all potholes on the stretch within a fortnight from now.
The Deputy Commissioner also instructed Mangaluru City Corporation and the Public Works Department (PWD) to fill potholes on their roads within a fortnight.
Minister in-charge of Dakshina Kannada Kota Srinivasa Poojary said that the condition of the highway stretch is such that many vehicles avoided the road between Periyashanti and BC Road on the highway and opted to travel via Dharmasthala, Ujire, Belthangady and BC Road. People have reached the state of losing hopes on the authority as it is not at all serious in filling potholes and is not bothered about the plight of the commuters, the Minister said.
In his reply, an official from the NHAI said that the authority has commenced the work to fill potholes as rain has receded. The works will be completed at the earliest, he added.
Mangaluru MLA U.T. Khader urged the Minister and the city corporation to hasten the process of getting land for constructing a railway underpass at Mahakalipadpu in the city. As it required 1.5 acres of private land, the government should hold talks with the owners to get the land for the project under the provisions of TDR (transferable development rights) or premium FAR (floor area ratio).
A note on the matter tabled in the meeting said that the Chief Secretary has directed that of the ₹ 20 crore required for land acquisition for the project, 50 % should be borne by the government and the balance amount should be allotted by the city corporation.
Though the corporation has funds under the head of “premium FAR”, it cannot be diverted for acquiring land and it can be spent only for widening or developing a road. The matter has been placed before the council of the corporation to take an appropriate decision on diverting the fund from “premium FAR” account for acquiring the land for the project which will be taken up under the Smart City Mission.
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