Chikamagaluru, Nov 28, 2017 : The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has proposed a four-lane inter-corridor route connecting Mangaluru and Chitradurga via the Byrapura-Shishila route. The road, proposed under the Bharat Mala project, is intended to connect Mangaluru Port to the Golden Quadrilateral Network, which connects the major cities of the country and reduce the distance of freight movement.
The proposed road will connect Mangaluru to National Highway 4 (part of Golden Quadrilateral) at Chitradurga via Mudigere, Kadur and Holalkere.
At present, freight movement has to take NH 75 via Shiradi Ghat. According to LEA Associates South Asia Pvt Ltd, an agency which conducted a study for the NHAI, the distance for freight movement will be reduced by 196 km on the new route. The private agency made a presentation in the presence of senior officers in Chikkamagaluru recently.
The proposed route includes the controversial stretch of Byrapura-Shishila, considered to be shortest to connect Mudigere to the NH 75. Environmentalists of the region have been opposing road work on this stretch stating that it would harm the greenery, while local people want the road connectivity.
The existing road connecting Mudigere to Bantwal Crossing (NH 75) via Charmadi Ghat is about 94 km. The proposed route reduces the distance between Mudigere Hand Post to proposed junction on NH 75 to 65 kms.
The NHAI has proposed this alternative citing that widening the road via Charmadi Ghat would be uneconomical considering the terrain and settlement along the route. The authority says that the proposed road would also boost the export of plantation products such as coffee, cardamom and pepper.
Good for economy
Mr. Shivashankar, who retired as a Technical Assistant for Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojna recently, had proposed the road connecting Byrapura and Shishila to reduce the distance in connecting Mudigere with Dakshina Kannada.
“The route proposed by the NHAI is good for the growth of the economy. The project can be executed taking all care to protect the greenery in the region. With this, the commuters or goods carriers can easily connect to the Golden Quadrilateral network,” he said.
Many environmentalists have opposed the proposed road.
D.V. Girish, G. Veeresh, Girija Shnkar – all wildlife activists, have said the road connecting Byrapura and Shishila would harm the greenery as the proposed road passes through the reserve forests of Baluru, Miyaru and Kabbinale. “When alternative routes via Shiradi Ghat, Charmadi Ghat, Agumbe, Sringeri are available, there is no need of this route”, said Mr. Veeresh.