Vehicles left stranded as agitators close bypass road

Congress workers and members of some civic organisations staging a protest demanding widening of the Hubballi-Dharwad bypass road in Hubballi on Monday.  

Members of some civic organisations and Congress workers closed the Hubballi-Dharwad bypass road on Monday, during a protest demanding that work be taken up immediately to widen it.

The 30-km-long two-lane road remained closed for over one-and-a-half kilometres and several vehicles were stranded on both sides of Gabbur Cross. Commuters suffered as they had to wait for nearly two hours, before the police cleared the road after the protest.

The protesters walked from Hubballi and Dharwad and urged the government to widen the highway immediately. They claimed that over 2,200 persons had died in road accidents since the road was built 20 years ago. They argued that the death of 12 doctors from Davangere was also due to the unscientific construction of the road and the refusal of the builder to widen it.

Deepak Chinchore, AICC member, said that the road was of low quality and not built as per standards. He demanded that the government cancel the agreement with the builder Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) and take it over. He also demanded action against Ashok Kheny, former MLA and NICE MD.

Nagraj Chabbi, former MLC, Anil Kumar Patil, Congress Rural district president, P.H. Niralakeri. advocate and human rights activist, and others were present.

Later in the day, Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil held a meeting of police, transport and Public Works Department officers and instructed them to take steps to reduce accidents on the road. He said that a proposal to widen the road had been sent to the State government and work would start once permission was received.

He asked officials to identify and mark accident-prone places, curves and road humps. He asked officers to create visible signs of such places using fibre and rubber. He set a deadline of 72 hours to complete this task. He asked officials to evict shop owners and vendors who were occupying the footpath and other spaces along the bypass road.

Additional Director-General of Police Karthik Reddy said that the police and transport department officers had to create awareness about safe driving among commuters. He asked officers to strictly implement the speed limit for the road and conduct frequent checks. He urged officers of various departments to work in coordination to ensure that there were fewer accidents on the stretch.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 1:17:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/vehicles-left-stranded-as-agitators-close-bypass-road/article33604235.ece

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