The State government had asked the agency to skip the plan

Uncertainty over the construction of a by-pass road at Padubidri, in Udupi district, under the ongoing national highway widening project between Talapady and Kundapur has ended with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) deciding to drop the proposal in deference to the State government’s request.

The 90-km stretch from Talapady to Kundapur comprises the highway from Kundapur to Surathkal, and from Nanthoor Junction to Talapady. The NHAI has taken up the widening work under phase III of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) on build, operate and transfer (BoT) model.

According to Shriram Mishra, Project Director, NHAI Mangalore Project Office, the State government a month ago had recommended widening the existing stretch (alignment) of the NH 66 at Padubidri instead of providing a bypass. The NHAI had proposed a 1.9-km-long and 60-metre wide bypass at Padubidri at a cost of Rs. 28.18 crore. The project required 20.4 hectares of land and demolition of 16 buildings. But the project was opposed by some local organisations and elected representatives. There were also demands to widen the existing highway running through the town.

As the issue could not be resolved the matter was referred to the State government. About the progress of the project, he said 55 per cent of the work, including laying of the road, construction of bridges and culverts, have been completed. He said the 75km-long four-lane road would be ready for use by the end of June, 2014. The project is expected to be completed by January, 2015.

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