Fund Crunch Traffic signal project delayed
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Fund Crunch Traffic signal project delayed

February 24, 2024

Lapse of funds, additional expenses force MCC to borrow bank loan to salvage project

The MCC will procure funds from the banks to install the traffic signals and the process is on. We expect the sanction of money immediately. Five traffic signal lights will be installed in two to three days and five others will be installed in another 15 days. —Ashaad-Ur-Rahman Shariff, MCC Commissioner

Mysore/Mysuru: Amidst Mysuru city’s pressing need for infrastructure to alleviate the escalating traffic congestion, the funds allocated for installing traffic lights in 10 Circles and Junctions within the city limits have lapsed and reverted to the State Government, delaying the project, that was supposed to be completed by December, 2023. This predicament has compelled the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) to explore alternative solutions to address the funding shortfall.

As contractors have already commenced the work but halted or delayed due to insufficient funds, the MCC is considering options such as securing a bank loan for about Rs. 2 crore to complete the pending project.

Following the burgeoning vehicle density having a ripple effect on smooth flow of traffic, the City Traffic Police had proposed to the MCC to install 10 more signal lights at a couple of Circles and Junctions. With this, the total number of Circles / Junctions was to increase from existing 52 to 62.

The Traffic Police proposed the installation of traffic signals at Deve Gowda Circle, Valmiki Circle, Ring Road at Sharadadevinagar, Kannada Circle on Ring Road near Vijayanagar Fourth Stage, Hinkal Flyover Signal on Ring Road, Kautilya Circle, Nazarbad Circle, Agrahara Circle, RTO Circle and           Rajarajeshwarinagar Circle.

According to the proposal, the State Government disbursed Rs. 41 crore to the MCC under the Mahatma Gandhi Nagara Vikasa Yojane. In addition to the allocation for installing traffic lights, funds from the Yojane were designated for several other infrastructure projects. 

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Upon receiving the funds, the MCC initiated the tendering process and the contract for installing signal lights was awarded to contractors. These contractors invested funds and acquired materials like metal pillars and horizontal beams necessary for the installation   of traffic signals.

Demand for more funds

Over Rs. 2 crore was allocated for the installation of signal lights in 10 Circles/Junctions. However, the majority of the Rs. 41 crore budget was utilised for other infrastructure projects, leaving insufficient funds for the traffic lights project. 

As a result, the remaining funds from the Rs. 41 crore allocation lapsed and went back to the Government. Faced with this crisis, the MCC requested an additional Rs. 41 crore from the State Government to complete all the projects. However, the State Government has delayed releasing the additional funds, leaving the MCC in a difficult situation.

Raised at Road Safety meeting

According to sources, the fund shortage and the lapse of allocated funds were discussed during the recent Road Safety meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra. MCC Commissioner Ashaad-Ur-Rahman Shariff apprised the DC of the issue. In fact, the traffic Police brought up the matter at the meeting, stating that the project was abandoned midway by the MCC. Hearing the issue, the DC asked the MCC Commissioner to explore fund options. 

As a result of the funding crisis, the MCC was unable to pay the contractors who had already procured materials for the traffic signal installations. Consequently, the contractors abandoned the materials by the side of the road in various localities, creating an unsightly scene.

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 Bank loan option

It’s worth noting that Star of Mysore had previously published letters from readers regarding the dumping of traffic signal poles and materials along the roadsides. With public anger mounting and the anticipated funds from the Government still not materialising, the MCC is now considering the option of borrowing bank loans (up to Rs. 2 crore) to settle dues with the contractors and complete the pending works.

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