PWD Minister sells National Highway dream

Estimated cost Rs 3,000 crore; 533 acres of land may be acquired

When the then chief minister S M Krishna proposed the four-laning of the Bangalore-Mysore road, he said it will take just two hours to cover a distance of 140 km between the two cities.

But, the reality, today — even before the road users forget the hardships faced, when the works were under progress — is that the KSRTC buses take a minimum of 60 minutes and a maximum of 75 minutes to cover just 40 km between Mandya and Mysore.

Now, State Public Works Department Minister Dr H C Mahadevappa is selling a dream that one can cover a distance of 376 km from Bangalore to Bantwal in just seven hours and eight minutes (428 minutes) via Mandya and Mysore with the upgradation of the State Highway to a National Highway. District in-charge Minister Ambarish — who is visiting the district for two consecutive days, in a rare gesture — is elated that this project is being launched during his tenure.

The project will be on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis and toll will be collected at two places in the district — near K Shettahalli and near KRS Road deviation — but farmers will lose hundred of acres of land.

Dr Mahadevappa chaired a meeting — attended by people’s representatives from Mandya, Mysore and Ramanagar districts — to discuss the project, here, on Friday, in which the officials provided power-point presentations.

The Minister said, the road will be upgraded to six lanes. However, it depends on a report expected to be tabled by December end, by an expert agency. Tenders have been invited from expert agencies to prepare a feasibility report. If the agency deems it fit, the road will be upgraded to eight lanes. So, the project needs a minimum of Rs 3,000 crore and a minimum of 533 acres of land will have to be acquired.

Bidadi, Ramanagar, Channapatna and Mandya towns will get bypass roads, while Srirangapatna will get a flyover. Underpasses would come up for the benefit of pedestrians and cattle.

Chief Engineer of National Highways Authority of India C Mruthyunjayaswamy, Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project P Manivannan, MP C S Puttaraju, MLAs Ramesh Bandisiddegowda, D C Thammanna and G T Devegowda, MLCs B Ramakrishna and Ashwathnarayana and others were present.

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