Udupi, April 15, 2017: The nature blessed spectacular stretch of National Highway 66, between Trasi and Maravanthe in Kundapur taluk, hugging the Arabian Sea and the Souparnika River is almost history.
This small piece of land divided the sea and the river from each other and it had been the only sea-front as well as river-front road, albeit without any tourist facilities, at least in Karnataka.
Authorities had periodically dumped boulders to protect the highway from sea erosion during monsoons. The picture has, now, changed with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) taking up four-laning of the highway between Kundapur and the Goa border.
In order to have wide Right of Way of 45 metres, NHAI has built an elevated road (bridge) horizontally abutting the river. The two-lane elevated carriageway carries traffic from the north towards the south. This elevated road is now open for traffic while the original road at the lower level passing along the sea is being upgraded. Consequently, the elevated road blocks view of the river for those travelling from south to north. NHAI project director, Mangaluru, Z. Samson Vijay Kumar, told The Hindu that the widening plan should have envisioned this at the planning stage. He was just overseeing execution of the project planned earlier.
“I am disappointed that such a spectacular place is no more the same,” he said. Mr. Kumar also said it may not be possible to bring the old highway to the elevated road’s level unless with high-level interventions.