The authorities on Sunday demolished portions of several shops and other structures on both sides of the National Highway 48 at BC Road town, about 30 km from here.
The move was aimed at enabling the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to widen the highway and complete the ongoing works on a flyover there.
The demolition was carried out amid tight police security. As a precaution, electricity supply to the town was cut off from 9 a.m. The district administration had banned the traffic between Polali Crossroad Junction and Dharmasthala Crossroad Junction. People who had gathered at the demolition site appeared to be happy. Vinayak from Bantwal said that road construction could not be halted for the sake of a few shopkeepers.
Seetharam, a driver who travels along the highway regularly, said: “This stretch gets blocked every day. From now on, my job will become easier.” Some of the buildings there were constructed decades ago.
“My father renovated this building 45 years ago and started a lunch home. The Government has given me adequate compensation (Rs. 7.45 lakh). I may not find another equally well-located as this one,” said Rajesh Nayak, after his restaurant was demolished.
Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj visited the spot.
The NHAI also strengthened the shoulder portions of the highway on both sides of a 500-m stretch on Sunday.
P.N. Gawasane, Project Director, NHAI, Mangalore, told The Hindu “Shoulder portions of the highway have been temporarily raised on specific request by the local people and district administration for the convenience of pedestrians.”
Mr. Gawasane said that work on laying the service roads on both the sides of the highway would begin on Monday.
The police diverted traffic, bound for Puttur, Dharmasthala and Uppinangady and vice versa at Mahaveera Circle in Mangalore to an alternative route that passes via Thokkottu, Konaje and Mudipu to reach Melkar on NH 48.
However, vehicles bound for BC Road were allowed to ply on NH 48 till Polali Crossroad Junction.