Udupi, Jul 11, 2016: Reported death of a motorcycle rider after being hit by a lorry on the NH 66 at Ambalpady Junction on July 2 has once again brought to the fore the issue of high vehicular density on the road and renewed the demand from residents for either a flyover or an underpass.
While the NH 66 connecting Udupi to Mangaluru passes through this junction, the road connecting Ambalpady village to Udupi intersects it. There is a steady stream of vehicles passing on the NH 66 in either direction, there is also a line of vehicles passing from Ambalpady to Udupi and vice-versa.
In order to reduce the speed of vehicles, the district police have placed barricades on the eastern and western side of the NH 66 connecting Udupi with Mangaluru at the junction. A constable too has been stationed to control the traffic here.
A large number of pedestrians also try to cross the NH 66 at this junction as Ambalpady houses the Sri Janardhana and Mahakali temples, which attract a lot of devotees on all days but especially on Tuesdays and Fridays. Besides controlling the vehicles, the constable also has to struggle to make passage for pedestrians.
There is no pedestrian way at this junction, where the widening (four-laning) work of the NH 66 is on. The service roads are yet to be constructed on three sides of the highway here. The Ambalpady Rashtriya Heddari Balakedara Hitarakshana Vedike has been seeking either a flyover or an underpass at the junction. It had also held a public meeting and a ‘rasta roko’ on the issue in February.
Altaf Ahmed, co-convener of the vedike, said that the Regional Transport Authority should conduct a vehicle survey at the junction. “Then the authorities will realise the need for either a flyover or an underpass,” he said. Vishu Shetty, social activist, said that besides people, a large number of students used the junction to either go to Udupi or to Ambalpady. “The NHAI, National Highways Authority of India is already constructing an underpass at the Karavali Junction about a km from here where two roads intersect. The same traffic later comes to Ambalpady Junction,” he said.
Meanwhile, an officer of the NHAI said that a proposal had been sent to its Bengaluru office for the construction of an overpass from Ambalpady to Udupi. This meant vehicles from Ambalpady will drive over the bridge to Udupi and vice-versa. “This proposal of about Rs. 5.5 crore has to be further processed,” he said.