Not Smart! Constructing Pumpwell Flyover with Height of 4.5 mts, when Legally it should be 5.5 mts
Mangaluru: In spite of various controversies that have surrounded the Pumpwell Flyover, which has not been completed for nearly eight years, now there is yet another issue raised by a team of local activists belonging the ‘Forum for Justice’, where they say that the flyover has violated the international and national standard specifications by being constructed much lower than the permissible height. Even though the flyover was supposed to be inaugurated on 28 February 2019 by Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, that looks like it’s going to happen, due to non-completion of work.
Dayanath Kotian, the president of Forum for Justice during a press meet addressing the media persons had said that the present flyover which is being constructed is only 4.5 mts in height, whereas the standard specification is 5.5 meters. It is learnt that the National Highway Authority of India intends to increase the height of the flyover at least to 5 meters by digging the road below the flyover, citing members of the Forum conversation with local officials who are in charge of the project.
Digging the road in order to adjust the height is a dumb idea, since the area which is low already, and if more digging is done, there will be flooding of water during monsoon time- and we have already experienced it during the last year monsoon when the whole area was flooded. Due to this 4.5 mts height, many accidents have taken place, especially when heavy loaded vehicles pass under this flyover, say the auto-rickshaw drivers from the nearby auto-rickshaw stand. Even though there is a sign stating that vehicles over 4.5 mts are not allowed, but unknowingly many a times drivers get into trouble when they drive their vehicles under this flyover and get stuck.
While rest of the flyovers in the district have a height of 5.5 meters, how come this flyover is being constructed at 4.5 mts height, is a question many are asking, which the officials are very reluctant to answer, since they have created a big blunder. The Forum members have also brought this issue to the notice of DC Sasikanth Senthil, who has assured that he will discuss it with the concerned NHAI authorities, and see what could be done to rectify the problem. On the other hand, Kotian also said that the stretch of the road was also given a slight bend to avoid affecting a private building (Hotel Pentagon) nearby.
Pointing out at another unscientific development by Kotian, was the orientation of the flyover, and the East and West pillars which seem to be sinking. Also speaking during the press meet, spokesperson N G Mohan recalled the 29 May 2018 floods which turned the Pumpwell circle into a lake due to heavy rains. Despite being a low-lying area with roads from all four sides sloping downwards towards it, Mohan alleged carelessness in not alleviating the road beneath, before constructing the Pumpwell flyover.
Trucks like this one always get stuck when they ply under the Pumpwell flyover
In the meantime, DC Sasikanth Senthil had said that when the matter was taken up with the NHAI officials, they claimed the flyover to be as per the Institute of Road Transport (IRT) standards, suggesting no changes were likely to be made. While there have been various promises made by MP Nalin Kumar Kateel about the inauguration of this flyover, but looking at the way the work is progressing with a few workers at the helm of the project, it may take another few months or years to get this flyover completed.
Isn’t it strange that a flyover has taken over 8 years and still not completed, while one of the world’s marvels ‘Eiffel Tower’ took only 2 years to build; and the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa in Dubai took around 5 years to build (vertically). But people from NHAI cannot complete the work of a flyover which is 300 -500 meters long even after 8 years. Big Thumbs Up to the smart engineers!