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Mangaluru:The Shiradi Ghat stretch of National Highway 75, which was strengthened at a cost of Rs. 69.9 crore, was opened for vehicles on Sunday. All vehicles including buses can take Shiradi Ghat stretch from Monday onwards. The stretch was closed for vehicles in January 2015.
Public Works Minister H.C. Mahadevappa, in a programme at Gundia in Sakaleshpur on Sunday, declared the road was formally opened by former Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, who was also present, though the programme was organised to make a presentation on the proposed tunnel road project.
He said Mr. Fernandes played a prominent role as Union Minister in getting the works sanctioned. “Oscar Fernandes was aware of the problems faced by those who travel on the Shiradi Ghat stretch. He too had suffered. He sanctioned the project when he had the opportunity to do so,” he said.
Mr. Fernandes said when he took over the ministry, the total length of national highways in Karnataka was less than the national average. “Now the national highway coverage in Karnataka is more than the national average,” he said.
Heavy rain and landslides of ten caused a problem for travellers on the existing roads. “The permanent solution to the problem will be the tunnel road project, which costs around Rs.10,000 crore. No matter what he amount required, it should be done, otherwise the project cost would escalate if implementation is delayed,” he said.
Better infrastructure facilities for travellers in Shiradi Ghat stretch would improve connectivity between Mangaluru (port city) to Chennai (also a port city) via Bengaluru, he said.
The work to improve the remaining stretch of the Shirdi Ghat at a cost of Rs. 85 crore would commence soon after the rainy season. Forest Minister Ramanath Rai, who is also in-charge of Dakshina Kannada district said, “If the road is closed again for the second phase work, people will face problem. The officers should look for ways to take up the work without closing the highway,” he said.
News Courtesy :The Hindu.