‘Complete four-lane work on NH 75 quickly’

The stretch between Sakleshpur and Maranahalli that comes under the four-lane project is in a deplorable condition.

The stretch between Sakleshpur and Maranahalli that comes under the four-lane project is in a deplorable condition. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Road users have said that the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister should ensure that the ongoing four-lane work on National Highway 75 is completed at the earliest before widening it into a six-lane road, with a tunnel bypass for Shiradi Ghat, is taken up.

Speaking at two programmes here on Monday, including one for laying the foundation stone for widening NH 75 in Dakshina Kannada for the second time, Mr. Gadkari said that he was aware of the issues being faced by the people in the coastal region with regard to Shiradi Ghat. “Let the State Government give me the land and forest clearance; the next day I will call for tenders for the tunnel bypass,” the Minister said.

“We have no issues with Shiradi Ghat (26 km), which was fully concreted a couple of years ago; the issue is with the 10-km stretch between Sakleshpur and Maranahalli in Hassan district,” say road users.

Travellers wonder whether the stretch is a national highway at all, as it is filled with potholes and craters all along with the bitumen cover completely worn out. While the tunnel work might take years to see the light of day, the Ministry should first hasten work on the Hassan-Maranahalli and Adda Hole-BC Road stretches, they said.

Four-lane work with concrete paving of the NH 75 Hassan-Maranahalli stretch that began in 2017 ran into rough weather with the original contractor declaring insolvency. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) assigned the work to the sub-contractor which was executing the work on behalf of the original contractor two years ago. While the work on Hassan-Salkeshpur stretch is being taken up in bits and pieces, the Sakleshpur-Maranahalli stretch on the hilly terrain is in complete mess.

NHAI’s recent proposal to the Hassan district administration to close the 10-km stretch for six months to execute the four-lane work received stiff resistance by road users and trade bodies. Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mangaluru, urged the Ministry not to completely close down the stretch and give specific assurance that the stretch opens after six months.

KCCI President Shashidhar Pai Maroor told The Hindu that the Sakleshpur-Maranahalli NH 75 stretch is unfit for movement. The chamber has urged the Ministry to provide permanent connectivity solution for the coastal region, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2022 7:17:35 pm |