Residents fume as long-awaited flyovers divide Kundapura crippling their movement

A pedestrian crosses the four-lane NH 66 in Kundapura, Udupi district by jumping over the side barriers.  

Residents of Kundapura in Udupi district were waited for nearly a decade for completion of the flyover on National Highway 66 at Shastri Circle.

Once the flyover was completed in May, along with a vehicular underpass at Basrur Moorkai, about 1.5 km south of Shastri Circle, the residents were left cursing their fate. The two structures, with their barricaded down and up ramps, have divided the town into two and prevent people as well as vehicles from crossing to the other side for a stretch of about 2 km.

Besides the old town, Kundapura has seen extensive development on a stretch of about 4 km between Shastri Circle and Koteshwara on both sides of NH 66. Over 25 government offices are located on the western side of the highway very close to Bobbaryana Katte.

Social activist Vivek Nayak told The Hindu that there was no pedestrian crossing between the two flyovers right from Shastri Circle till Basrur Moorkai. Consequently, people have to walk for long distances to reach their destination, which otherwise is just a few hundred metres away. This includes thousands of people visiting over 25 offices near Bobbaryana Katte. Many jump the fence at the down ramps of the flyovers, and cross the highway risking their lives, Mr. Nayak said.

The problem was not just confined to pedestrians, but has also severely affected vehicle users, said Kishore Kumar from Heddari Horata Samithi that had fought for completion of the flyover. He said people driving either from Udupi or from Bhatkal and intending to enter Kundapura either have to take the congested service roads or drive all the way through the flyovers to take a U-turn to reach their destination.

According to Mr. Kumar, there was a proposal for entry and exit from the four-lane NH at Bobbaryana Katte in the original plan; but the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) did not provide the same. People’s representatives kept mum before completion of the flyovers as well as later in scant regard to the woes of the general public, he said.

Udupi Superintendent of Police N. Vishnuvardhana told The Hindu that he would inspect the stretch in a couple of days and attempt to find solution along with the district administration and the National Highways Authority of India.

‘Ill-planned structure’

The completed flyovers at Shastri Circle and Basrur Moorkai on NH 66 in Kundapura were ill-planned, allege residents.

Kishore Kumar from Heddari Horata Samithi said the vehicular underpass at Basrur Moorkai is ready, but is yet to be commissioned by NHAI, citing the lack of speed-breakers. “Who has to erect the speed breakers,” said Mr. Kumar.

NHAI has not erected any signboards at the entry and exit of the flyovers on both sides leaving drivers utterly confused, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 7:51:38 AM |

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