Udupi: Foundation laid for Padukere-Malpe bridge

Pics: Hemanath Padubidri
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (SM)

Udupi, Feb 10: The foundation stone for the long-awaited Padukere-Malpe bridge was laid at a ceremony held here on Sunday February 10.

District incharge minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, MLA Raghupati Bhat and Dr G Shankar of G Shankar Family Trust.

The bridge is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 13.5 crore by Yojaka India Pvt Ltd, Mangalore. A tender of Rs 12.72 crore has been passed.

The bridge is expected to be ready in 18 months. The lower tide level will be at a height of 7.5 metres.

The project will be funded by Udupi city municipal council under the Amrita Mahotsava fund.

Vinay Kumar who was donated land for the project was felicitated on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Raghupati Bhat said it had been a long-pending wish to see the Padukere-Malpe bridge getting constructed, as it took immense efforts to get the project cleared. "The tenders for the project were dropped twice, as both times when it was placed before the cabinet, the government was in political turmoil. This time too there was a feeling that it may not happen, as the government was on the verge of falling."

"I am laying the foundation stone this year, and I hope next year too I will be there as an MLA to inaugurate the bridge," he added.

Speaking on the level of development Udupi has achieved, he said that while everyone looks up to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi when it comes to development, Modi himself was impressed with Udupi's DC Complex. "Modi had sent five officers to study the structure of the DC Complex here, as he wanted to build a similar one in Gujarat," Bhat said.

In his address, Kota Srinivas Poojary lauded Raghupati Bhat and said that he wanted Bhat to lay the foundation for the bridge as he had worked a lot for it.

"An MLA should always work for the people. An ideal MLA is one who can make the impossible, possible. The bridge project had seemed an impossible one, as twice or thrice the tenders were rejected, but ultimately it has been realized. Similarly, Raghupati Bhat also got the Beedina Gudde cleared of its dumping area, which was another difficult task," Kota said.

"In the new budget, Rs 5,321 crore has been set aside for construction of roads and bridges, and Rs 9,654 crore for development of cities," he said.

Among those present were Kiran Kumar, CMC president, Bharati Chandrashekar, CMC vice-president, Yashpal Suvarna, fishermen association president, Jagadish Bolar, contractor of Yojaka India Pvt Ltd, Vinay Kunder, CMC member and others.

The Padukere-Malpe bridge has been a long-pending demand of Padukere residents, who have to travel 20-25 kilometres to reach Udupi via Kaup or cross the Udyavar river. The bridge will cut short the distance drastically to about 5 km, and make commuting between Udupi and Padukere a lot easier.