Staff Correspondent

Tenders called for relaying Gundya-Bantavala Coimbatore road, says Minister

Rs. 200 crore for improvement of national highways

Expert opinion on expansion of Shiradi Ghat being sought

HASSAN: Union Minister of State for Surface Transport K.H. Muniyappa, who inspected the 36 km Sakleshpur- Gundya road on National Highway 48 on Wednesday, said tenders had been called for to rebuild the 36 km stretch from Gundya to Bantavala Coimbatore road. The outlay of the project was Rs. 25 crore, he said and added that work would commence soon. The Sakleshpur-Gundya road has been rebuilt at a cost of Rs. 33.11 crore.

‘Excellent quality’

He said the Sakleshpur-Gundya stretch had been completely damaged on account of movement of heavy vehicles carrying iron ore. Now, the road had been rebuilt and was of excellent quality. Movement of traffic on the road had been stopped in November 2006 and the contractor was given 16 months time to complete work.

Mr. Muniyappa said as no contractor had come forward to undertake work on the project, work was split into three parts and entrusted to three people.

Proposal

He said he had directed officials to submit a proposal for rebuilding the Hassan-Sakleshpur road as it needed repair.

Mr. Muniyappa said work on the four-lane stretch between Nelamangala and Mangalore on National Highway 48 had begun. Now, work was being undertaken on the road connecting Nelamangala and Devihalli, after which the road connecting Devihalli and Hassan would be re-laid. A survey on the feasibility of a four-lane road between Hassan and Bantavala Coimbatore road had begun, he said and added that the opinion of experts was being sought on the expansion of the Shiradi Ghat road into a four-lane highway. Mr. Muniyappa said that after the United Progressive Government assumed office at the Centre, 1,300 km of road in the State was being converted into a four-lane system. Now, another 1,500 km of roads would be similarly converted, he said and added that the Centre had given the State Government the required permission.

On complaints that user fees were being collected at several toll gates on various highways, including National Highway 48, Mr. Muniyappa said tollgates that were established on national highways were authorised to collect toll only up to 24 years.

Golden quadrilateral

Mr. Muniyappa said the prestigious “Suvarna Chatuspatha” road (Golden quadrilateral) would be completed by 2009.

There was a proposal to lay 5,840 km of roads comprising four-lane stretches in the country. Owing to legal hurdles, 250 km of land still had to be acquired, he added.

He said that when the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Government was in office, 40 per cent of work was over and the present regime had completed 55 per cent. The remaining five per cent would be completed by 2009.

Mr. Muniyappa said the country had 65,000 km of roads under the national highway category. Of this, 3,800 km was in Karnataka.

A sum of Rs. 200 crore had been released to improve national highways that passed through the State, he added.

The former Minister and Sakleshpur MLA H.K. Kumaraswamy appealed to Mr Muniyappa to release more funds for maintaining roads in Shiradi Ghat as the region was known for heavy rainfall.

The former Minister B. Shivaram and S.M. Anand, MLC were present.

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