Roadwork delay turns political flashpoint in N.R. constituency

SDPI says authorities neither asphalted nor repaired the road for eight years

The delay in executing the development work of the pothole-filled Azeez Sait Double Road also known as Mahadevapura Main Road has emerged as a flashpoint between Congress and Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) leaders in Narasimharaja Assembly constituency in Mysuru.

The road, which cuts through thickly populated areas of Narasimharaja Assembly constituencies including Shantinagar and Ghousianagar while connecting Udayagiri Circle to Sathgalli bus depot, has become a picture of neglect with potholes dotting the uneven stretch. Commuting on the road, which has also witnessed a substantial spurt in traffic in the last few years, is becoming increasingly challenging to motorists.

After SDPI called for a protest against the delay by the authorities in taking up repair works last week, protesters gathered on the road and displayed their anger against MCC corporators of the adjoining localities, mostly belonging to the Congress, and area MLA Tanveer Sait. They shouted slogans against the authorities and threatened to stage a demonstration in front of the houses of the elected representatives if the works were not taken up in a months’ time.

SDPI leader Abdul Majeed, who led the protest, the said the authorities had neither asphalted nor repaired the road for the last eight years.

However, within two days of the SDPI protest, a counter demonstration was organised by Congress leaders on the road, attended by most of the corporators of the area including former Mayor Ayub Khan and corporator Ayaz Pasha, who not only claimed that that a ₹2.5 crore project to widen the road into a 30 metre one by building roadside drains had been scuttled by SDPI during the last few years, but also clarified that the MCC had already approved a tender for taking up filling up potholes at a cost of ₹29.5 lakh.

Mr. Pasha said the filling of potholes would start in the next month and alleged that the SDPI had timed their protest to claim political brownie points.

Land acquisition

However, the vexed issue of land acquisition for widening the road to 30 m is facing hurdles. The authorities said a total of 103 structures on the road should yield about 4.5 m of land for widening to be taken up. Meanwhile, a section of land owners even moved the court seeking compensation if they are to give up land for widening.

Mr. Khan, citing officials, said the authorities are finding it difficult to award compensation as the land that is sought to be acquired is revenue land.

However, Mr. Majeed of the SDPI said the authorities should provide compensation to land losers as per the provisions of the law. But, till the issue is resolved, the authorities should atleast make the road motorable.

Meanwhile, MCC officials said the work on repair of the road at a cost of ₹29.5 lakh would begin in a month, but the project relating to widening of the road would be taken up only after the land acquisition issue was settled.

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