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Sunday, 22 April 2012

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Lack of bidders for RDA's Ayurveda Junction tender:

Snail-paced Cotta Road development, a hassle

Any motorist approaching Colombo along Cotta Road from Rajagiriya has to face a major inconvenience especially during rush hour, due to the bridge connecting Rajagiriya with Colombo city being so narrow.

This tapered section of the road even creates huge traffic snarls beyond Battaramulla and also towards Obeysekarapura as a large number of passenger buses have to cross this narrow border along with hundreds of other private vehicles proceeding towards Colombo along this road.

The private buses waiting to pick up a few more passengers at Ayurveda junction also adds to the confusion as their long wait at the junction creates more traffic snarls on the Cotta Road.

Motorists and bus crews were relieved when Colombo Municipal Council took the initiative to improve the Ayurveda roundabout connecting Parliament drive and Cotta Road to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic, putting an end to a decades-long nuisance they had to experience on a daily basis.

Traffic flow towards Colombo improved after the Cotta Road was widened from Ayurveda roundabout to Borella, but it could not make any impact on the traffic flow towards Rajagiriya as the actual road section remained narrow. Even the motorist coming along Obeysekarapura Road and other by-roads face great difficulty when entering their vehicles to Cotta Road due to this huge traffic congestion during rush hours.

People, especially those who used to travel in public transport were happy to see the Road Development Authority taking an initiative to earmark the lands to be acquired for the widening of the road from Ayurvedic junction to Rajagiriya junction.

They silently observed the way small stalls along this section of road were removed step by step to clear the terrain to facilitate the widening of the road which they thought would help improve the flow of traffic.

"Today, after a few months of clearing all these structures we are yet to see any progress with regard to the widening of this road", a motorist who daily drove on this road said.

Even the space available for the widening of the road cannot be properly utilised as the lamp posts have not yet been shifted from their original places, thus exposing many motorists to accidents.

The long delay in the implementation of the project has made people uncomfortable. They expect the authorities to implement the project soon, as a solution for the huge traffic congestion in Rajagiriya.

When Sunday Observer contacted Director Projects, Western Province of the Road Development Authority, Engineer Selvaratna, he said that the Road Development Authority has already called tenders for the widening of the bridge connecting Rajagiriya and Ayurveda junction.

"We called tenders for the widening of the bridge last year but no contractors have made any bid for that tender.

Therefore, for the second time the RDA called for tenders and is waiting to award the contract for the widening of the bridge at Ayurveda junction to facilitate the project", he added.

He said the Road Development Authority is planning to develop this section of the road to four-lanes due to heavy traffic reported during rush hours.

"We are planning to have four lanes and two walkways on either sides of the road to facilitate pedestrians," he added.

"We have cleared everything for the development of this road stretch to a four-lane; but we can only start work once the contract is awarded", he added.

He said the objective of the project was to ease the traffic congestion on this road as most of the bus routes operated along this road.

He said the widening of the road to four-lanes would cost Rs. 121 million, and Rs. 37.5 million will cost to widen the bridge at Ayurveda junction. "The Road Development Authority is taking action to implement this project once the tender procedure is completed", he added.

 

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