PWD drags feet on Ghoghripur rail overbridge

September 11, 2014

Tribune News Service

Karnal, July 26

The Gogripur rail overbridge project has become a distant dream for residents of 25 villages who cross the railway line every day. Aimed at easing traffic woes, the project to construct a railway overbridge on the Karnal-Munak road began in 2013 at a cost of Rs 26 crore. It was to be completed till 2015.

Sources associated with the project said the project was a joint venture of the Railways and the PWD. The Railways were to build their part of the bridge over the track, while the PWD had to build it on both sides of the track, as per the terms and conditions.

The Railways, it is learnt, is about to complete its part, but the PWD is yet to finalise tenders for constructing its portion of the project.

Commuters using this route are forced to travel a longer distance to reach their destination. Ramesh Pal of Staundi village who works in Karnal said he used this route every day. “I waste both time and money traversing the longer distance due to delay in the project.” Rohit Kumar, a college student, said he had to leave home early to reach in time.

“The PWD has called for the tenders and soon the construction company will be finalised. I hope the construction work of the bridge will be completed on the scheduled time,” said Virender Jakhar, Exen, PWD.

In limbo

* The project to build a rail overbridge on the Karnal-Munak road began in 2013 to ease traffic woes

* Scheduled to be completed by 2015, the project will benefit residents of 25 surrounding villages

* While the Railways is about to complete its part of the project, the PWD is yet to finalise tenders for its share of the project























More roads and bridges for Chennai

July 30, 2014


In a major fillip to infrastructure development in the State, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday announced road projects, bridges and sub-ways at a cost of Rs 2,325 crore. The prime beneficiaries will be Chennai and its neighbourhood.

The Chief Minister told the Assembly that her government had conceived plans to the tune of Rs 1,130 crore to prevent accidents, and to improve roads and road designs, widen narrow bridges, create accident-prevention mechanisms near open wells, medians and road signs. In the current year, works would be implemented at a cost of Rs 400 crore.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said that 250-km national highways in the newly extended areas of Chennai would be expanded with drainage facilities and pedestrian pathways.

The total investment for the work was Rs 1,033 crore and in the first phase, works to the tune of Rs 250 crore would be taken up. She said two multilane overbridges – one each at Medavakkam and Keelkattalai – would be built at a cost of Rs. 18.50 crore.

A subway would be constructed on the South Inner Ring Road at Rs 50 crore to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).



A Bridge on Brahmaputra 17 years in making

July 17, 2014


When welded together, these frames will form the bridge
When welded together, these frames will form the bridge

Rail-road link is under construction on Assam-Arunachal border

  The river takes a 5-km wide turn to the south here. This is the narrowest stretch of the Brahmaputra, in upper Assam. Running across the river are a series of pillars, one-third of which are incomplete. They will support India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge that will open a lifeline between the plains of upper Assam and the mountainous northern Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China.

On the southern bank at Bogibeel, near Dibrugarh, a 125-metre long steel frame – weighing nearly half of a coal laden cargo train – is slowly, inch-by-inch, pulled out of a huge fabrication shed. It is now resting on the first pillar deck on the water.

With time, it will be pulled further north to make way for a total of 41 such modules to be placed on the pillars. When welded together, these frames will form the bridge, with two railway tracks on the lower deck and a three-lane highway overhead.

Revised deadline

The project has been under construction for the last 17 years and is of huge strategic importance to the Indian Army.

“We are now confident to complete the project by end-2016,” says a senior official of the executing authority, North East Frontier Railway. That is nearly two years behind the last revised deadline of March 2015. Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), which is creating the super structure, echoes the railways version. However, despite repeated efforts no confirmation was available from Gammon India that is engaged in the building the pillars since 2008.

Available information suggests out of 42 pillars, 12 are far from complete and three are semi-finished. Considering the narrow weather window (November-April) it might be a tall task for the company to complete the residual work in the next two years. Railways, however, claim that 90 per cent of pillar work is complete.

Assam Accord proposal

Bogibeel was one of the major promises made by the India government during the peace accord with the separatist forces in Assam on August 15, 1985. The proposal was cleared by the HD Deve Gowda government in 1997. But it took the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to start construction in 2002.

The idea was to link NH-52 at Dhameji, on the Arunachal border, on the northern bank of Brahmaputra with NH-52-B in Dibrugarh; convert the metre gauge rail links in the north into broad gauge and connect it with existing rail link at Dibrugarh.

While the bridge was estimated to cost ₹1,767 crore (2002); more investments were committed by Railways and the Assam Government in creating requisite rail and road network on either side. To speed up implementation, the bridge was declared as ‘project of national importance” in 2007. The prolonged delay escalated costs by at least three times. The bridge, if completed in end 2016, will cost nearly ₹5,000 crore.

The writer visited the project site at Bogibeel at the invitation of HCC

(This article was published on July 15, 2014)

NGT notice to Centre on plea seeking stay on Signature Bridge construction

July 11, 2014

Express News Service | New Delhi

The plea claimed that the construction of the bridge without an impact assessment and environmental clearance will result in large-scale damage to the Yamuna.
The plea claimed that the construction of the bridge without an impact assessment and environmental clearance will result in large-scale damage to the Yamuna. (Source: Express Archive)


The Signature Bridge was envisioned as a link between North and East Delhi.

The National Green Tribunal on Thursday issued a notice to the Centre on a plea that sought a stay on the Signature Bridge project across the river Yamuna at Wazirabad, until environmental clearance is granted.

A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar sought response from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Delhi government, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on a plea filed by environment activist Vikrant Kumar Tongad.

“Notice be issued to the respondents by registered post/acknowledgment. Requisites to be filed within three days from today (Thursday),” the bench said, while ordering respondents to file responses within three days and listed the matter to August 19.

The Signature Bridge, which is being built across the Yamuna, was envisioned as a link between North and East Delhi. The project, which has been under way for the last nine years, is expected to be completed by the year-end. The Rs 1,131-crore project, which is being executed by DTTDC, is intended to replace the existing bridge at Wazirabad. Officials said the bridge will have a bow-shaped steel pylon 154 metres high.

But in his petition, Tongad has claimed that the construction of bridge is covered under Clause A of the Schedule of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, which mandates prior environmental clearance from the regulatory authority concerned.

He said the construction of the bridge without an impact assessment and environmental clearance will result in large-scale damage to the river. The petition seeks to “direct the respondents to obtain the environmental clearance for Signature Bridge after conducting proper environment impact assessment of the project”.



Kumbalam-Aroor bridge to open to traffic this week

December 18, 2013



A milling machine deployed by NHAI on Monday to scoop out the tarred portion of the severely-potholed Kumbalam-Aroor bridge. Photo: H. Vibhu.
The Hindu -A milling machine deployed by NHAI on Monday to scoop out the tarred portion of the severely-potholed Kumbalam-Aroor bridge. Photo: H. Vibhu.

Damaged bridges on Container Road still out of bounds

The Kumbalam-Aroor bridge will be thrown open to vehicles this week after repairing the potholes.

On Monday, a milling machine brought from Andhra Pradesh scooped out the tarred portion, exposing the concrete surface. “There are a few uneven surfaces over concrete and patch work will be done using bitumen. Vehicles will be able to use the bridge soon after,” said NHAI’s Kochi project director C.T. Abraham.

The bridge was built in late 1980’s by the Kerala State Construction Corporation using pre-stressed concrete. Five months after traffic was banned through the bridge, NHAI recently entrusted a contractor to scoop out the bridge’s tarred, potholed surface.

The repair work is being done on the basis of a report from a team of experts from IIT, Chennai. They spoke of how tarring has to be done afresh, since pothole-filling will not last long, Mr Abraham said.

Potholes developed all over the old bridge within a few months of NHAI resurfacing it in July 2011. Motorists, traffic police, NGOs and youth wings of political parties had blamed NHAI for inordinate delay in fixing the damage, despite the agency collecting hefty toll from highway users. The potholes thus became bigger, exposing the bridge’s concrete surface. After a slew of protests and accidents, NHAI curbed traffic through the bridge in June.

Container road bridges

Though Aroor-Kumbalam bridge is slated to be opened to vehicles next week, NHAI is yet to reopen two brand new bridges which were closed down in 2012 following structural damage. Both were built by Soma Constructions.

The bridge built parallel to the second Goshree bridge was closed to traffic after its gap slab began to sink at an alarming rate.

The NHAI entrusted the probe to civil engineering experts from NIT, Kozhikode, who are yet to finalise their report. To a question on how the problem could be rectified, Mr Abraham said the spans will have to be extended or their number increased, thereby extending the bridge’s viaduct.

Similarly, the Moolampilly-Kothad bridge on the Vallarpadam-Kalamassery Container Road was declared out of bounds for vehicles within a year of it being opened to traffic. This was after a huge chunk of concrete fell off the bridge’s surface, leaving a gaping hole in the bridge.

“Repair works are under way, following which the bridge will be opened to traffic,” Mr Abraham said.

Bridge Opening Still on Waiting List

November 29, 2013

By Express News Service – KOCHI


The Goshree bridge remains closed even after the completion of the construction work | Mithun Vinod

The Goshree bridge remains closed even after the completion of the construction work | Mithun Vinod

The opening of the new bridge constructed parallel to the second Goshree Bridge, connecting Bolgatty and Vallarpadam, is likely to be delayed further with the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) planning to extend its length.

According to officials of Soma Construction, the company entrusted with the work, the NHAI has decided to introduce a slight change in the structure of the bridge by extending its length.

“We have been told that there would be an extension, but we are yet to receive the final design which is expected to be delivered to us in December,” said Soma officials.

The authorities had plans to open the bridge for traffic by September 2012. Taking a significant step towards that end, a month-long trial run was flagged off, with only container carriers permitted to ply over it.

The bridge was constructed as part of the four-lane highway connecting the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) to Kalamassery.

Once the bridge is opened for traffic, the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd can start work on the elevation and extension of the existing Goshree Bridge and convert it into a rail overbridge.

At present, there is a level-cross at the end  of the bridge at Vallarpadam, to enable the movement of trains carrying containers to the ICTT. Traffic on the existing bridge has to be diverted to the new bridge to resume the extension work.

The 17.2-km-long road (NH 47 C), starting from Kalamassery connects the ICTT to NH 17 and NH 47. Though the bridge is ready, teh construction of two lanes of the highway will be completed only by May 2014, sources said.  The two-lane road, which has been opened for traffic, has to be elevated a little more, the official said. It was commissioned considering the emergency situation prevailing at the time of ICTT’s commissioning in February 2011.

“Though the delay in opening the bridge will not affect the operations at the ICTT directly, the residents of Vallarpadam and people of Vypeen will have to bear the brunt due to the frequent closure of the railway gate caused by the increased  number train services to ICTT. It would be good for the islanders, if the construction is completed as early as possible,” said officials of DP World Cochin which operates the ICTT.



World-class roads only by next December

November 25, 2013

TNN  |

BANGALORE: The upgradation of selected roads under Tender SURE ( Specification for Urban Road Execution) is a welcome move for citizens fed up with potholed stretches. However, they may have to wait till December 2014 for some activity on the ground.

BBMP commissioner M Lakshminarayana on Saturday said under the first phase of Tender SURE, Chennai-based NAPC Ltd has got the contract to take up seven roads. “It’s expected to complete them by December-end 2014. These are Museum Road, Cunningham Road, Commissariat Road, St Mark’s Road, Mallya Hospital Road, Residency Road and Richmond Road,” he added.

On the sidelines of an interaction on ‘Transforming Bangalore with Tender SURE’ organised by Jana Urban Space Foundation, the BBMP chief said they need at least Rs 600 crore to develop all 45 roads selected under the project. These roads promise long durability compared to existing asphalted roads. Also, these roads will have uniform footpaths, utility ducts, cycle tracks, bus bays, parking space and dedicated hawkers’ zone, he added.

Roads for better life

Swati Ramanathan, chairperson, Jana Urban Space Foundation said that getting road rights was the starting point of addressing the quality of life. “Tender SURE takes a holistic approach to road design and it’s all about getting the urban road right,” she added.

Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, also president B.PAC, said Tender SURE roads will lead to better inter-agency coordination and avoiding constant rework as service providers are enrolled as stakeholders to achieve a consensus on the final design.

Roads and money

BBMP chief M Lakshminarayana said the state government has granted Rs 200 crore, of which Rs 100 crore has been released for road development. “But it costs much more. It’s expected to be more than Rs 600 crore for 45 roads. It’ll take another three years to complete all these 45 roads. BBMP has to bear the rest of the expenses. For this reason, we’re taking these roads in a phased manner,” he added.

Lakshminarayana said in the second phase, 11 roads have been identified and tenders for them have been floated. These include JC Road, KH Road, Nrupatunga Road, KG Road, Church Street, Commercial Street, Jayanagar 11{+t}{+h} Main, Basaveshwaranagar Main Road, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road etc, he said.



City bridges underutilized

November 14, 2013


Himansshu Bhatt, TNN |


SURAT: Despite having adequate infrastructure in the form of 1800 km of roads and more than 70 bridges with six more in the pipeline, Surat has been under-utilizing the available facilities. To cater to transport needs of 46 lakh people, work on another 25 new bridges is going on and 25 more are in the planning stage.”Our biggest problem is that the infrastructure we create doesn’t funnel the growth in a manner it should,” said Dr NC Shah, an expert in urban infrastructure and director at CG Patel Institute of Technology at Maliba in Bardoli.

He said that ideally around 50 per cent of the people of Surat should be using the road and bridge infrastructure through public transport for its optimal use. “But, our public transport utilization is just one to two per cent,” said Dr Shah

“Surat is passing through a critical phase. Unlike Ahmedabad that has a history of public transport, Surat didn’t have anything when its civic body took over. But, now the plans are in place and we expect the shift of people from three wheel trips to public transport very quickly once quality and efficient services of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and the feeder services begin,” said Sivanand Swamyof Center for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) who played a major role in developing future public transport infrastructure in Surat.

At present nearly 17 lakh people travel in three wheel transport and another 10 lakh in four wheel or two wheel private transport. Surat will have effective public transport infrastructure of 100km of BRTS and another 100 km of city bus services that should take care of present requirements and cover more than 90 per cent of areas. BRTS work is likely to be completed by 2015 and that of city bus services by end of 2014.

“The problem is magnified at present because construction of road infrastructure and bridge infrastructure was planned ahead of setting up of public transport. Both developments have not taken place in unison and as a result we are seeing road and bridges available but no public transport. The situation will be different in two years,” said a senior official from SMC.

BMC stalling CR road overbridge plans: Minister

November 13, 2013

Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN |

MUMBAI: Union railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge has blamed the BMC for delaying the construction and expansion of road overbridges at Nahur and Vidyavihar railway stations.In identical letters sent to CM Prithviraj Chavan and senior Congress leader Charan Singh Sapra, Kharge stated that the construction had been pending “for want of a revised scheme of construction” from the civic bodymunicipal corporation of greater Mumbai.

On June 6, the BMC had approached Central Railway for expediting the construction of road overbridges at Vidyavihar and widening of a road overbridge at Nahur station across railway tracks on deposit terms.

The proposal has been agreed upon by the zonal railway and the chief administrative officer has been entrusted with executing the projects. The approach routes to the road overbridges will be constructed by the civic body. “A joint site feasibility by the BMC and railway officials showed the current construction scheme was not feasible. The civic body has been advised to submit revised drawings again. The BMC has agreed for the same, but till now it has not submitted any drawings,” Kharge wrote.

Alarmed by the plight of commuters, Sapra had personally called on Chavan and Kharge saying both the projects should be completed soonin a time bound period. He had also taken it up with civic chief Sitaram Kunte. “All along, we were told all the relevant plans have been submitted to Central Railway. But from Kharge’s communication, it appears that BMC officials have given us wrong information,” Sapra said.

Responding to Kharge, Chavan wrote to the railway minister stating that fresh directions will be given to the principal secretary (urban development) and civic chief to submit revised general agreement drawings of the RoBs to the railway administration.

PWD to build new bridge on Kanhan River

November 12, 2013

Ashish Roy, TNN |


NAGPUR: Regular travelers to Kanhan and beyond have a reason to cheer as public works department (PWD) has decided to build a new bridge on Kanhan River on Jabalpur road (NH7). The existing bridge is extremely narrow and its life is almost over. Traffic jams have become a regular feature on this bridge.Meanwhile, regional office of  National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), set up in city just 18 months ago, has been shifted to Mumbai.

A PWD official said tenders for the bridge would be floated soon. “We had submitted the proposal to state government months ago. State government wanted Centre to fund the project but the latter was reluctant. Finally, Centre cleared the proposal on September 23,” he said.

The new bridge will be a two lane structure and its length will be 390 metres. Bridge users will not be required to wait at the railway level crossing. Its cost is Rs 46.46 crore of which Rs 36 crore is the work and remaining land acquisition cost and other charges. “We will have to acquire railway land on Kamptee side and Nagpur University and private land on Kanhan side,” the official said. The fate of the old bridge will be decided after the new one is opened for traffic. Going by the past experience the new bridge will likely take four to five years for completion.

There is another good news for citizens. “Central government had issued a circular in 1988 whereby state governments were to maintain roads constructed by NHAI. However, most state governments did not follow the circular and demanded that NHAI maintain the roads. Now Centre has agreed to take over maintenance of NHAI roads,” a NHAI official told TOI.

The official further said the regional office would shift to Mumbai from November 16. “It will not affect the local projects as the project director’s office at Hill Top will remain here. The western region office was monitoring projects all over Maharashtra. As all regional offices are located in state capitals, Maharashtra’s office too is being shifted to Mumbai. The office strength was only around 15, most of whom were senior officials,” he said.

Next Page »