Those using National Highways 75 (Bengaluru-Mangaluru) and 66 (Kochi-Panvel) to travel beyond Mangaluru can heave a sigh of relief. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has begun preparations to construct a Mangaluru city bypass.
The bypass was announced by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari during his visit to the city in March, at the behest of Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel. It involves upgrading the existing roads into national highways.
NHAI, without going for a pre-feasibility study, has decided to directly prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the 91.2-km NH to hasten the process, said NHAI project director Z. Samson Vijay Kumar. October 7 is the deadline to submit bids to prepare the DPR.
The authority said it has been assigned the work of laying the Mangaluru city bypass, which will link the towns of Mulky-Kinnigoli-M. Koorkaveri-Kateel-Bajpe-Kaikamba-Polali Cross-Addur-Tenka Bellur-Kalpane-B.C. Road as well as B.C. Road-Pane Mangaluru-Melkar-Mudipu
The bypass will enable vehicle users from north and south Mangaluru to avoid the busy city region and move towards Bengaluru, Kerala, or Udupi. Vehicles from Udupi towards Bengaluru can take a deviation on NH 66 at Mulky towards B.C. Road via the new NH, and vice-versa.
Similarly, vehicles from Kasaragod towards Bengaluru can take a deviation at Thokkottu on NH 66 towards B.C. Road on the new NH, and vice-versa.
Longer, but much faster
Though the distance covered on the bypass will be a couple of km more than the distance via Mangaluru, vehicle users stand save time, an NHAI officer said.
However, for those travelling only on NH 66 either towards Kerala or Udupi, using the bypass might not be economical as they will have to travel an additional 60 km or so.
Mr. Gadkari had pegged the project cost at Rs. 255 crore for the Mulky-Kateel-Bajpe-Kaikamba-B.C. Road stretch and at Rs. 280 crore for the B.C. Road-Melkar-Mudipu-Thokkottu stretch, which will be four-lane.
Meanwhile, NHAI is yet to proceed on another proposal cleared by Mr. Gadkari — converting the Karkala-Moodibidri-B.C. Road stretch into a national highway.
Proposed route for Mangaluru City bypass
B.C. Road-Pane Mangaluru
Pane Mangaluru-Melkar-Mudipu-Thokkottu (4-lane)
SH: State Highway
NH: National Highway
MDR: Major District Road