Tunnel bypass road project at Shiradi Ghat to begin in a year

11:59 AM, Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Nithin GatkariMangaluru : Putting an end to doubts on the proposed tunnel bypass road at Shiradi Ghat becoming a reality, Union Minister for Surface Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari said here on Tuesday that the government will start the project probably before December 2016.

Shiradi Ghat is on the NH 75 and connects Bengaluru with Mangaluru.

Mr. Gadkari told the media that the detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed tunnel road was being done. “There will be six tunnels and 10 bridges. The project would cost Rs. 12,000 crore. I am confident of starting it before December next.” Mr. Gadkari said that it would be an important project for Karnataka.

The existing ghat stretch on the highway is 47-km long. However, the proposed tunnel bypass road is expected to be 29 km and provides seamless travel through the ghat stretch. The new project would be executed with financial assistance from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA). At present, it takes seven to eight hours to travel from the port city to the capital city. When the tunnel bypass is ready, the travel time is expected to come down by an hour.

Mr. Gadkari said the Centre was also planning to upgrade the Belikere port in Uttara Kannada district to handle more iron ore from Hosapete and Ballari. But the proposal of constructing Hubballi-Ankola railway line to connect the Belikere port to transport the ore easily has run into problems due to environmental issues, though his ministry was ready to invest for laying the railway line.

The Minister also said that the government was planning to build an express highway from Bengaluru to Hyderabad.

Mr. Gadkari said the government had decided to relax the norms related to upgrading highways. He said that a proposal to float a road safety authority had been made before the Union Cabinet seeking its approval.

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