Lobby working against lifting NH traffic ban: activist

The Nilgiri-Wayanad National Highway and Railway Action Committee has accused both the State government and the Centre of pandering to a coterie with vested interests against lifting the night traffic ban through National Highway 766 that connects Karnataka and Kerala.

T.M.Rasheed, convener, of the committee alleged that the government was rooting for this lobby seeking to establish a National Highway on the Mananthavady, Kutta, Gonikoppal, and Hunsur route. It was unfortunate that the State government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court-appointed committee that it favoured the alternative highway in lieu of the existing highway which passed through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, he said.

Mr. Rasheed who had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court earlier, also alleged that senior bureaucrats in the State government were influenced by this lobby so as to get its agenda executed. The same lobby had sabotaged the proposed the Nilambur–Nanjangud railway line project and shut the doors on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and its Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan, he alleged.

He said that vested interests were behind the move to develop a Mysuru-Malappuram road project when they had failed to get sanction for the Kannur-Mysuru road linking Kutta and Gonikoppal. The shortest route from Malappuram to Mysuru was the National Highway 766, he said.

Mr. Rasheed said that a proposal to establish a highway through the zigzag stretches of Mananthavady and Kalpetta (Wayanad district), Thiruvambadi and Koduvally (Kozhikode district) Assembly constituencies to reach Malappuram as an alternative to the existing NH 766 was ill-motivated.

The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) had already submitted a proposal to construct Valluvadi-Chikkabargi Bypass if the Centre and Karnataka government did not approve construction of elevated bio-fencing and flyovers over the core tiger habitat, he said.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 11:04:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/lobby-working-against-lifting-nh-traffic-ban-activist/article32226043.ece

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