Funds not released, Irwin Road widening held up

Nov 14, 2017

MYSURU: Although it has been more than 10 months since the top brass of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) carried out an inspection of Irwin Road in the heart of the city – the stretch from Ayurveda College Junction to Nehru Circle of the thoroughfare has been proposed for widening – work on the project has not been initiated owing to the delay in compensating property owners along the stretch.

The road-widening project was touted as a solution to clearing what is considered a major bottleneck in the Central Business District (CBD) of the city. Property owners point out that, although they have agreed to part with their land, they have not been paid compensation. More recently, mayor MJ Ravikumar brought up the issue with chief minister Siddaramaiah, and sought his intervention to clear the hurdles to the project.

Property owners along the 650m stretch from Ayurveda College Junction to Nehru Circle are being paid Rs 13,177 per sqft in compensation by the government. However, delay by the state government in releasing the compensation sum has, in turn, led to the project not taking off yet.

“We received a notification about road-widening work being undertaken more than a year ago, but the compensation has not been released yet. We are being told that the CM has to approve release of these funds. Mysuru is Siddaramaiah’s hometown. We wonder why he is delaying release of funds,” said S Shambu, one of the property owners on Irwin Road.

With traffic congestion on the arterial road only increasing every year, members of the business owners on the street understand the importance of getting the road widened, and have given their approval to the project. “However, the delay by the government to start work is baffling,” Shambu added.

Another shopowner pointed out that the project had been announced two years ago. “The mayor and MCC commissioner briefed us about the project in January, and spoke to us about compensation. But, we have not received our money yet.”

Expressing concerns over the possibility of the project being delayed further after the 2018 elections, he asked, “What if the current government changes and there is further delay in disbursing the compensation?”

On the other hand, mayor Ravikumar said that the MCC was waiting for funds from the state government. “Repeated discussions with the state government have not yielded results. The government needs to release Rs 40 crore, which will subsequently be distributed to the property owners. The project can start only when the state government releases the funds,” Ravikumar added.