Bellary-Hospet road crying for attention

Staff Correspondent

The stretch has not been repaired after it was made a highway

It takes not less than two hours to cover the 60-km stretch Damage attributed to the movement of trucks carrying iron ore Funds yet to be released for repair work

BELLARY: The National Highway 63 between Bellary and Hospet is in a bad condition. It takes nearly two hours to cover the 60-km stretch between the two cities. Motorists attribute this to the substandard work on the Karwar-Gooty road which was upgraded as a national highway a few years ago.

The condition of the road has worsened because of the movement of heavy vehicles, transporting iron ore, and rolled coils from the Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Plant.

With the boom in the iron ore market, the number of trucks transporting ore from Sandur, Hospet and Bellary to the Karwar and Mangalore ports and to the Vishakapatana port increased. This is one of the major reasons for the road being in such a condition. The road is not designed to bear heavy loads. The trucks carrying ore are also causing air and noise pollution. The number of accidents has also gone up on this stretch.

Though the State and Central exchequers earn huge revenue from the movement of iron ore, funds have not been allocated to repair the road. Lack of funds for repair work has become a cause for concern among the people of the region. Except repairing certain patches, filling of potholes on this road has not been completed. Stretches near Kuditini, Gadiganur and Kariganur need to be redone. Venkatesh Prasad, Assistant Executive Engineer, National Highway Subdivision, Hospet, told The Hindu that he has sent proposals to the authorities concerned repair the road and also to redo the stretches that have been badly damaged. However, the subdivision is yet to receive funds to take the work. He said that a proposal to make it a four-lane road has also been sent to the authorities concerned. It is likely to be approved soon, he added.

However, the people of the region are looking towards their elected representatives to take up the matter with the authorities concerned and get funds released for the roadwork.