Traffic sparse, but roads to Sandur will be tolled

Vehicles carrying ore no longer take the now concrete stretches in Ballari district

Traffic sparse, but roads to Sandur will be tolled

 More and more State highways are joining the list of user fee toll roads. One more taluk where approach roads will have toll plazas in the near future is Sandur in Ballari district.

Ore-rich Sandur was in the news for all the wrong reasons due to illegal mining till a couple of years ago. Now, one can hardly hear the sound of lorry and truck movement on the roads in this hilly terrain because mining activities have almost come to a halt.

The plan to have toll roads took shape when repercussions of illegal mining were felt in Ballari district when the BJP was in power. Fine red dust used to pervade the air, causing serious health concerns. The government hardly paid any attention to repair the roads not only in Sandur, but elsewhere in the district too.

Now, there is hardly any movement of vehicles. Still, the government is going ahead with its old plan of inviting private agencies to take up the work of collecting toll on commission basis. There are two approach roads to Sandur which are State highways and road users have to pay fee for using them.  

The road that connects Hosapete with Sandur is 27.1 km (SH 49) and two toll plazas would be built, said KRDCL division engineer Shivayogi Dollin. The Karnataka Road Development Corporation (KRDCL) had earlier invited tenders to collect toll on the concrete road it has developed through GVR Infrastructure company.

The tenders floated earlier had attracted only one bidder. A couple of days ago fresh tenders have been invited. The two-lane road work began in September 2011 by raising a loan of Rs 70 crore from Hudco. 

KRDCL is in the process of collecting toll for the SH connecting Kudligi-Thoranagal via Sandur which is 39.6 km. For building this concrete road, the estimated cost was Rs 133 crore and so far Rs 110 crore has been spent from 2011. The work would be completed next month and later a proposal would be submitted for making it a toll road.

Official sources said that the detailed project report for road improvement and toll collection was planned in 2010-11, when movement of vehicles carrying ore was an all-time high. With no mining permits being issued in recent years, there are hardly any takers for either road repair works in Ballari or for putting up toll plazas.

Few tourists to Sandur

V Shivaprakash, director of travel house in Hosapete, said, “We regularly conduct tours to Hampi and surrounding areas. Sandur has its charm for tourists, but there are hardly any visitors. Vehicular movement is sparse on roads leading to Sandur. For nearly 15 years, we had to put up with dusty roads in Sandur because of mining activities. At that time, no measures were taken to set things right. Even if toll is collected for next 20 years, the cost of the road cannot be recovered.”

V Shivaprakash, director of travel house in Hosapete: We regularly conduct tours to Hampi and surrounding areas. Sandur has its charm for tourists, but there are hardly any visitors. Vehicular movement is sparse on roads leading to Sandur.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)