Public meeting to discuss the issue on Saturday

The former president of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat B. Bhujanga Shetty said on Thursday that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was planning to construct a 17-foot ramp-like structure for the four-lane National Highway 17 from Inspection Bungalow to Nirmala Convent in Brahmavar, dividing the town.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr. Shetty said that because of the ramp-like structure, people from western and eastern parts of Brahmavar would have difficulty in moving from one side to another. NHAI had provided a four-foot wide underpass below the ramp-like structure. The ramp-like structure was not a flyover. There would have been no problem if a flyover was constructed, he added.

The ramp-like structure would also block other roads in the town. Roads leading to Indira Nagar, MESCOM office, primary health centre and the veterinary hospital would be blocked. People living in 1,000 houses would suffer owing to the construction of this ramp-like platform. A delegation from Brahmavar had met Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha and brought the matter to her notice. The matter had also been brought to the attention of the MP and AICC General Secretary, Oscar Fernandes, he said.

The authorities of NHAI should have taken the people into confidence before embarking on building such a structure, which would divide the town into two. The width of the national highway in Kerala was 30 ft. The same width could have been followed in Karnataka and there would have been no problem, Mr. Shetty said.

A meeting of officials, local people and elected representatives would be held near the Brahmavar bus-stand on January 15 to discuss the issue, Mr. Shetty said.

President of the Varambally gram panchayat S. Narayan, former president Rajesh Birthi, vice-president of the Chantar gram panchayat Dinakar Heroor, and president of the National Students' Union of India Prithviraj Shetty were present.