BENGALURU: The state government is expected to launch the work on building three roads to create alternative access from Bengaluru to Kodagu and Hassan districts, by Republic Day. The new routes –that involve widening and upgrading of the existing roads –are aimed at easing the pressure off Mysuru and Tumakuru roads in the city.
Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP) is developing the roads under the PPP model on hybrid annuity basis using ADB loans. The three roads are estimated to cost Rs 1,484 crore. The organisation, which is evaluating the price bids, is expected to award the projects soon.
The road construction will take about two years from the zero date. The projects entail 75% construction grant and nine years of concession period which includes two years of construction and seven years of operation and maintenance.
The project packages involve building a four-lane toll road from NICE junction to Magadi on a 36.5 km stretch. The KSHIP will also upgrade the existing two-lane highways from Magadi to NH-75 junction (15 km) near Kunigal and, from Magadi to Somwarpet (166 km) with paved shoulders, truck lay-by, bus lay-by and rest areas. The KSHIP has identified the accident-prone areas, and will correct the geometry of these roads to prevent accidents.
Public works minister HC Mahadevappa said the PPP hybrid annuity model has turned out to be huge success in Karnataka inviting praise from the World Bank. “We are committed to develop another 400-km over the next three years, which includes two-lanes from Kollegal to Hanur,” he said.
The new roads via Magadi will benefit even those visiting Kasargod district in Kerala. The government also hopes the upgraded roads will bring about prosperity in villages along the highways, and create jobs for the youth.
KSHIP chief project officer P Manivannan said his organisation has constructed more than 700-km of state highways in the last four years. “Indeed, four years back, we were developing 8 km a month, and now 33 km a month.Now, Karnataka tops the country in highway development,” he said.
The government will take a call later whether it will permit collection of a toll from users, or bear it out of its funds. The engineering design of these roads, KSHIP officials said, conforms to the latest Indian Road Congress codes and, the best industry practices.The roads improvement projects are based on traffic forecasts and review of existing road network, safety of users and future economic development.