NH-212 alignment will spike city's traffic density

 The present alignment of NH-212, passing through Mysore city has been met with strong criticism from retired engineers and other concerned citizens. In an open letter to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, they have noted the flaws of the alignment and suggested that the presently planned alignment be abandoned.

In its present planning, NH-212 (Kozhikode to Kollegal), passes through Mysore city limits for a length of about five kilometres. The overall cost of the project, for 131 kilometres is Rs 489 crore, while Rs 30 crore is said to be the cost for five kilometres of NH-212, passing through the city

 “When completed and commissioned, it will increase pedestrian and vehicular accidents, exacerbate air and noise pollution, and increase traffic density.” The letter also highlights the fact that about 193 mature avenue trees on both sides of Lalith Mahal Road will have to be felled.

Outer Ring Road

The letter points out that Outer Ring Road (ORR) was designed to avoid through-traffic entering Mysore city, so as to not add to traffic congestion in the city. The ORR, developed to six lane width, connects Bannur Road, Bangalore Road, KRS Road, Bogadi Road, Manandavadi Road and Nanjangud Road, and relieves Mysore of heavy vehicles and other vehicles that do not need to enter Mysore. However, works of one fourth of ORR is presently with Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and is yet to be completed.

The signatories have urged the Ministry to expedite the construction of the balance portion of ORR around Mysore by connecting Nanjangud Road with T Narsipura Road and Bannur Road. Works for the road have already been commenced and completion of the same will provide an effective by-pass for traffic between Kozhikode and Kollegal (NH-212).

Since the work of this portion of ORR has already been commenced, it will serve the purpose of National Highway requirement, and avoid through-traffic entering Mysore city. Further, it will save the cost of Rs 30 crore, for the five kilometer road, as planned in the present alignment in NH-212.

P V Nanjaraj Urs, one of the signatories of the letter, speaking to Deccan Herald, said that the alignment passed close to the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, which would be a nuisance to the Zoo animals. Moreover, highways must decrease traffic density from the city. However, the new NH-212 alignment increases it, he said. He added that a delegation will meet Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, to draw his attention to the issue.

Another signatory, retired chief engineer, H R Bapu Satyanarayana said that while cities like Shimoga and Dharwad were preferring by-passes to NHs, it was surprising that a NH is being allowed to pass through the city, rather than using the alternative of completing the ORR and facilitating the flow of traffic from Kozhikode towards Kollegal in the same.

“Getting a NH through the city, worsens the traffic conditions and adversely affect heritage buildings around it, due to high pollution along these roads,” he noted.
Retired Major General, Indian Army Corps of Engineers, S G Vombatkere, Bhanu Mohan and R Chandra Prakash are among the other signatories of the letter.

Considering alternatives

V S Sridharmurthy, Manager (Technical), National Highway Authority of India said that a tender has been invited under Engineering Procurement Construction funds of Government of India, for the project. The works, he said, are expected to begin in the next two to three months.

Responding to the letter by residents of Mysore, he said that such pleas would be placed in front of the government. “They have also suggested the alternative of connecting Nanjangud Road with T Narsipur and Bannur Road. Since there are no rigid instructions that NH-212 must follow a specific path, we will take the alternative options into account before finalising the project,” he added.

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