Hyderabad: Skyway stuck in time freeze

No headway seen on Biodiversity skyway in 2 years.

Hyderabad: The wait for a skyway at Biodiversity junction, under the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP), has just got longer. The project has been halted due to land acquisition problems. There has been little progress in more than two years now.

The municipal corporation has to acquire as many as 15 properties for the project. Three property owners are demanding a higher compensation from the corporation than it is not willing to give. Since it did not pay the amounts, two parties went to court and got a stay order and third party is threatening to go to court.

Seeing this, the owners of the properties who had earlier agreed to the compensation offered and had given their consent, have now withdrawn it and are demanding more compensation and threatening to also approach the courts. The corporation is adamant that it will not pay the enhanced compensation demanded. The tussle between the property owners and the GHMC has delayed the skywalk project and heavy traffic jams are taking place every day.

According to highly placed sources in the corporation, the GHMC's target to complete the flyover as part of the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP) is March 2019, but each flyover is stalled due to acquisition of one property on each side.

This has also delayed the shifting of utilities such as power and water lines and the laying of an alternate service road. Subsequently, heavy traffic is clogging the junction, irking commuters. More than two years have passed since an agreement was made to construct the flyovers and service road.

The GHMC began digging up the road, which reduced the existing width, and simultaneously called for tenders for separate roads, to divert traffic. These alternative roads, to help reduce the traffic delays, couldn't be laid due to the delay in property acquisition.

Sources said that apart from an influential person and politician, a businessman had withdrew the consent from the corporation demanding compensation on par with the other two.

The proposed flyover will cater to traffic moving from Gachibowli towards Khajaguda, allowing commuters to bypass Biodiversity Junction, and reducing the volume of vehicles at major crossroads. Due to the delay in the execution of the project, commuters have to put up with heavy traffic snarls as about 15,000 vehicles pass through here per hour.

A senior GHMC official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told this newspaper that the corporation has been trying for an out-of-court settlement to minimise the inconvenience to the public. He said that the compensation amounts will be paid only according to the Land Acquisition Act 2013. The issue has been brought to the notice of the higher authorities in the State government, who have said it will be resolved at the earliest.

"We cannot go on paying heavy compensation for property owners who demand amounts according to their will. Since the flyover is an essential service and will benefit a large number of people on a daily basis the corporation would win the case in court, but it will take time. In order to provide relief to commuters, the corporation along with the government has decided to have off the court settlement and withdrawal of consent from the property owners will not be entertained," the official said.

He said that for the Biodiversity junction to be free of traffic, these two flyovers have to be built soon.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story