Says the project is estimated to cost Rs. 500 crore, work to begin soon

Urban Development Minister Vinay Kumar Sorake said on Saturday that the State government would convert the Hiriyadka-Bajpe Airport Road into a two-lane highway. He was speaking at the inaugural function of banking section and spare parts showroom of the Udupi Bus Owners Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society.

Mr. Sorake said the Detailed Project Report for widening the road between Hiriyadka in Udupi district and Bajpe Airport in Dakshina Kannada district was ready and the work would be taken up shortly. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 500 crore.

The widening would ensure faster connectivity between Udupi and Bajpe airport, he said. The Hiriyadka-Bajpe Airport Road would also be developed as a parallel road to National Highway 66.

The government has also decided to broaden the Agumbe Ghat road, which connects Udupi with Shimoga. Development of the Agumbe Ghat road would improve trade and commerce links between Udupi and Shimoga cities, Mr. Sorake said, adding the assistance of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes would be sought. Widening of the Shirady Ghat road is also on the cards, he said.

Mr. Sorake announced that there are plans to set up a Karnataka Land Transport Authority to look into the issues of controlling vehicle density and parking problems. All efforts would be made to promote public transport in the State, he said, adding that an efficient public transport would reduce vehicular density on roads.

Fisheries and Youth Services Minister Abhayachandra Jain said the government develop roads belonging to the Public Works Department (PWD) and zilla panchayat.

Rajavarma Ballal, president of Karnataka State Private Bus Owners Federation, said that National Highway 66 running through the district had become accident prone. This was because there are diversions on it and dividers are not properly placed.

Of the 7,000 private buses in the State, nearly 3,000 operate in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, Mr. Ballal said. A private bus plies from Mangalore to Udupi every minute between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

‘Don’t issue permits’

The federation has urged the Regional Transport Authority not to issue new permits as this would intensify competition between the private buses.

More In: Mangalore