Saturday, July 20, 2024

Polavaram canal 4-lane road project put in cold storage

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Dasari Srinivasa Rao

The Stage government has put the construction of the four-lane road on the Polavaram Right Main Canal (PRMC) bank from Jakkampudi to Rajamahendravaram, a 156-km stretch, in cold storage. Even the Jakkampudi-Gollanapalli road near Gannavaram, estimated to cost Rs.80 crore, has remained incomplete for the past seven years. The road, once completed, would help reduce the traffic congestion in Vijayawada city.

The State government proposed the four-lane road on the Polavaram canal bund to ease the traffic problem in Vijayawada as well as on the national highway from Vijayawada to Rajamendravaram. Before the start of Krishna Pushkaralu, the then Krishna Collector A Babu launched the first phase of the road works on the stretch from Jakkapudi to Gollanapalli. The estimated cost of construction was Rs. 80 crore. Most of the road works have been completed, except for a few structural works.

The Polavaram project authorities supervised the road works while Collector Babu had taken utmost care to complete the works. However, after his transfer, the road works were stopped. The road construction on the structures constructed across the hill streams remains incomplete.

Though the works had been started before Krishna Pushkaralu, they were stopped due to a lack of sufficient funds. Since the Polavaram project works have been stalled, no one is taking care of the incomplete road from Jakkampudi to Rajamahendravaram.

According to sources, once the Polavaram four-lane road is completed, the traffic from Visakhapatnam to Tiruvuru Bhadrachalam and Khammam will be diverted from the national highway to this road at Gannavaram and Gollanapalli, without entering Vijayawada city. This will reduce traffic congestion considerably, the sources added.

The State government aims to decrease the distance between Vijayawada and Rajamahendravaram and for that the Polavaram project authorities proposed the four-lane road construction in a phased manner. However, due to the non-completion of the project, the four-lane road work was also thrown in cold storage, sources said.

According to the Polavaram project officials, the government wanted to stop the Polavaram canal’s four-lane road work because the six-lane National Highway East Bypass road work is in the final stage. As per the directions from the government, the four-lane road from Jakkampudi to Rajamendravaram will be cancelled. Former Chief Minister Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy acquired lands for the four-lane road.

At present, the road is useful for transporting gravel by lorry after digging the hills illegally. Not just the hills, they also excavate the Polavaram Right Main Canal bund and transport the earth to real estate ventures. The ruling party leaders (either TDP or YSRCP) would seek permission from the officials concerned to level house sites, but actually, they transport the canal earth to real estate ventures, local people alleged.

Despite the East Bypass Road being thrown open to the public, the local people wanted to complete the Polavaram Canal four-lane road to ease the traffic congestion in the nearby villages. The trucks that illegally transport gravel have been creating traffic jams in the villages. The State government should take the initiative to complete the four-lane road, the villagers urged.

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