Samithi demands expediting of four-laning of NH 66

Samithi demands expediting of four-laning of NH 66

The works on flyover at Pumpwell Junction, Mangaluru, moving at a sluggish pace.

Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Zilla Rashtriya Heddari Horata Samithi president Deviprasad Shetty has warned of laying siege to all four toll plazas on NH 66 from Talapady to Kundapura, if the work on the National Highway is not expedited.

Speaking to media persons, he warned of closing the toll collection if the work on service roads, flyovers are not taken up at the earliest. The Samithi, on August 16, will submit memorandums to the deputy commissioners of DK and Udupi, urging the government to pressure NHAI to complete the work at the earliest, and to stop the collection of toll.

He said the four-laning work on the NH 66 commenced in 2010 and eight years on it is nowhere near completion. The works on flyovers and service roads have remained incomplete, and the authorities are collecting the tolls claiming that 90% of work was completed.

The construction of the underpass at Karavali Junction, flyovers at Kundapur, Thokkottu, and Pumpwell were incomplete. The widening of the road at Padubidri has remained incomplete. Works on service roads have not been taken up on the stretch. Traffic snarls have become the order of the day on the stretch.

The toll collection at the plazas was unscientific. It was being collected in four places on the 100-km stretch from Talapady to Kundapur at Talapady, Surathkal, Hejmady and Sasthan. Though the authorities had promised to merge Surathkal toll with Hejamady, the contract has been renewed to collect toll at Surathkal, recently. The distance between Surathkal and Hejamady toll is just a 10 km, which is against the highway rules, he said.

The potholes on the highway should be filled on priority, he said and added that the alignment of the road at Padubidri is not carried out properly. The original plan has been tweaked, he alleged.

Many have lost lives and limbs due to the unscientific construction of the road in the last eight years. There was discrimination in the payment of compensation for the land acquired for the four-laning of the highway, he alleged.

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