Gadkari to relaunch NH-75 widening work after six years

He will re-lay foundation stone for four-lane work between Addahole-Periyashanthi-B.C. Road

Updated - February 28, 2022 12:22 am IST

Published - February 28, 2022 12:20 am IST - MANGALURU

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for the second time for the four-lane work of NH-75 in two packages in Dakshina Kannada district on Monday in Mangaluru.

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for the second time for the four-lane work of NH-75 in two packages in Dakshina Kannada district on Monday in Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: ANIL KUMAR SASTRY

As National Highway infrastructure in coastal Karnataka continues to remain awful despite BJP’s claim of having double engine governments for development in Karnataka, Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari will be in Mangaluru on Monday to lay foundation stone for many highway works, including the ones on National Highway 75, for which he had laid the foundation stone in March 2016.

Mr. Gadkari, during his visit to Mangaluru in March 2016, had laid the foundation stone for the four-lane widening of NH 75 between Hassan and B.C. Road in two packages — Hassan-Maranahalli and Addahole-B.C. Road. With the contractor chosen for Hassan-Maranahalli stretch going insolvent, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) awarded the work to the sub-contractor two years ago. The stretch yet remains awful.

The contractor chosen for the Addahole-B.C. Road stretch walked out of the contract after NHAI decided to separate Addahole-Periyashanthi (Dharmasthala) Cross (15 km) stretch following the need to incorporate extensive forest mitigation works. New contractors in place to execute four-lane work on Addahole-Periyashanthi-B.C. Road stretches, Mr. Gadkari would not lay foundation stone for these works in Dakshina Kannada district.

Members of NH 75 Travellers WhatsApp group, who in 2019 had launched ‘Save NH 75’, a Twitter campaign to decry the continued pathetic state of NH-75 and wake up authorities, wondered about the need for Mr. Gadkari’s visit and the programme itself. “We cannot understand the purpose of the programme when the National Highway network in coastal Karnataka and those connecting the coast with other parts of the State continue to remain in pathetic condition,” some members said. What mused them the most was the infrastructure remained pathetic despite Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar being the State president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

During his 2016 March visit, Mr. Gadkari had also launched and approved other highway projects, including upgrading Mulki-Kaikamba-B.C. Road and Melkar-Mudipu-Thokkottu roads as NHs and widening them to 4-lane and four-lane work of NH-169 between Mangaluru and Karkala. No physical progress could be seen for any of these projects. Land losers of NH 169 project have refused to part with lands as the NHAI has fixed different rates of compensation for agricultural and non-agricultural lands.

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