National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has put forth three options each before district administrations of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi to resolve an issue over widening the national highway 66 (formerly NH 17) at Mulky and Padubidri towns.

It has mooted the options after some local people opposed the construction of bypasses at Mulky (Dakshina Kannada district) and Padubidri (Udupi district) while widening the highway under phase III of National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

NHAI has kept its option of constructing bypasses at both towns open with the design speed of 100 k.m. an hour. In addition, it has proposed to widen the existing alignment of the highway either to 60 metre width or 45 metre width with the design speed of 80 k.m. an hour.

Sources in the NHAI told The Hindu on Thursday that the NHAI had written to Deputy Commissioners of both the districts on March 11, 2011 to this effect. It had sent a report for all the three options with drawings and a comparison statement to each of them.

The Deputy Commissioners had been requested to intimate the option acceptable to the State government at the earliest to enable the NHAI to proceed further. The NHAI was yet to receive response, sources said.

The NHAI's letters was sent following a meeting its officials had with the State chief secretary on February 3, 2011 at Bangalore to discuss issues pertaining to widening the highway stretch between Kundapur–Surathkal-Nanthoor Junction to Talapady on NH 66 under the NHDP.

Sources said the NHAI still stood for constructing bypasses at both the places as it was most suitable from technical, social, and financial parameters. But a section of local people had been opposing it.

Mulky options

Constructing a 1.9 k.m. 60-metre wide bypass at Mulky – the first option – requires acquisition of 11.4 hectares of private land. It would lead to demolishing 26 buildings. The project cost had been estimated at Rs. 27.24 crore.

Second option provides for widening existing 1.7 k.m. stretch of the highway to 60 metre width requires 5.73 hectares of land. Around 30 buildings would have to be demolished. The estimated project cost was Rs. 41.28 crore, sources said.

If the same stretch was widened to 45 metre under the third option, it requires acquisition of 3.32 hectares of land and 21 buildings would have to be demolished. The project cost was estimated to be Rs. 30.93 crore.

Padubidri town

A 1.9 k.m. length and 60 metre width bypass road at Padubidri – the first option – would cost Rs. 28.18 crore. It requires 20.4 hectares of land and 16 buildings would have to be demolished.

Widening the existing 1.9 k.m. stretch of the highway at Padubidri town to 60 metre– the second option-would entail a cost Rs. 67.06 crore. It would require 6.39 hectares of land and 96 buildings would have to be demolished. If the same stretch was to be widened to 45 metres under the third option it would cost Rs. 58.16 crore. It required 2.38 hectares of land and 72 buildings should be demolished, sources said.

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