KCCI U-turn on flyover draws flak

The Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Hubballi, which had raised objection to the proposed elevated corridor project at Kittur Chennamma Circle in Hubballi, has suddenly taken a U-turn leading to severe backlash from engineers, architects and other stakeholders who had opposed the project.

After KCCI, along with members of Architects Association of India and other stakeholders, raised objection to the proposed elevated corridor, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi had intervened and directed the Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad to hold a consultation with the stakeholders in a bid to find a solution to their objections. During the meeting, it was resolved to form an experts committee and the Deputy Commissioner subsequently held a meeting to decide the composition of the experts committee.

However, a press release, signed by KCCI president Mahendra Ladhad and sent via email to media persons from the official KCCI e-mail, said that the chamber of commerce wants the flyover project to be commenced immediately after incorporating changes to address the lacunae relating to road widening, traffic junctions and pedestrian crossing and other issues. The release also states that the KCCI will welcome such development projects and wants the early completion of the project.

The KCCI U-turn has come as a shock to many who are part of a group of various stakeholders formed to take the issue to its logical end. Mr. Ladhad has reportedly told them that he will clarify the KCCI stand.

Meanwhile, chairman of the KCCI Sub Committee on Flyover and industrialist Vikram Sirur has taken strong exception to the KCCI letter and has urged the KCCI president to immediately convene an urgent meeting.

In his communication sent to Mr. Ladhad, Mr. Sirur expressed shock over the development and has said that such change in decision taken reportedly at the behest of a past president of KCCI is not only unethical but improper. He has said that the KCCI president should have taken a firm stand, especially when a sub-committee has been formed to look into the issue in the interest of the members of the chamber.

Meanwhile, a few organisations, including Hubballi Hotels Association and Eureka Towers Association, have written to KCCI and Deputy Commissioner of Dharwad seeking a halt in the flyover work.

Efforts to contact Mr. Ladhad over telephone did not yield any result.

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