THE WIDENING of the Karbala Bridge has joined the long list of Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) projects kept perpetually in abeyance owing to a lack of funds.
Nearly a year after it was scheduled to be completed, work is yet to begin on converting the narrow bridge onto a four-lane pathway.
Tenders have been floated thrice for the project only to be cancelled each time because of the cash crunch. Meanwhile, the lack of adequate road space continues to give a harrowing time to vehicular traffic heading towards the Collectorate from either Mhow Naka or Gangwal Bus Stand.
As only a single lane is available to vehicles either travelling to or from the Collector’s office, the bridge witnesses frequent logjams and bottlenecks, especially during peak hours.
The proposal to convert the Karbala Bridge into a pathway boasting four carriageways was first mooted in 2004. The Rs 1 crore project called for expanding the width of the bridge from the existing 11 metres to 35 metres and the construction was scheduled to be completed in October 2005.
Initially, IMC officials wanted the bridge to be widened on the right as one headed from Collectorate to Mhow Naka Road, towards the side of the narrow footbridge that was dynamited by explosives expert Sharad Sarwate. Later, however, it was decided to expand the bride on the side of the nullah in line with Lalbag Palace.
Tenders for the project were first invited in 2004 and then in 2005 before being floated again in the current year. However, instead of commissioning the project, the Corporation made the bidders cool their heels each time. The result: Disgusted contractors just walked out.
Interestingly, the four-lane idea was proposed shortly after the Indore Development Authority (IDA) extended the bridge width from 6.5 metres to 11 metres at a cost of Rs 55 lakh in 2003.
When contacted, IMC Bridge Cell in-charge Anoop Goyal admitted that there had been delays in executing the Karbala proposal, but declared that work on the project would begin soon.