Hubballi: Amid much expectations, and not a little apprehension, services on the Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor were flagged off in 2019. The growing patronage for the ‘Chigari’ buses attests to the success of the initiative, with bus commuters only too happy to travel along the dedicated corridor. One particular hitch to the otherwise smooth journey is the railway crossing at Navalur. The construction of the railway overbridge (ROB) has been stalled owing to various disputes. However, all the issues have been resolved, and the decks cleared for work on the ROB to be expedited, with authorities expressing hope of its completion by June.
Clamour over the delay in completion of the ROB has only grown louder following the launch of BRTS services. The lack of an ROB in Navalur has left the residents in the nearby localities without a dedicated bus terminal, leaving them to opt either the KMF or the SDM stops to board or alight at. There was a two-year-long hiatus in the construction of the ROB, and only side of the structure was operational. Once work on the ROB is completed, residents of Navalur will have a bus stop of their own.
Residents have been demanding that a bus terminal be constructed near the Vittal temple, and this demand was among the reasons why work on the ROB was stalled. Consequently, BRTS authorities had to tweak the design of the ROB, so as to ensure that the bus terminal remained untouched.
“Heavy rainfall between August and September 2019 was another reason why we could not expedite work on the ROB. Concrete panels that were used to support the walls came away as a result. BRTS had entrusted work on the ROB to the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd (KRDCL),” a source said.
KRDCL executive engineer Narayan Kurandkar told TOI, “We were forced to stop work on the ROB after Navalur residents demanded changes to the design. We have accommodated their changes, incorporating suggestions from the BRTS and the government’s technical committee. The bus stop will be constructed near the Vittal temple, and work on the ROB will be completed by June.”


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