NHAI commences work on widening Hunsur Road again

Mysuru: A day after Mysuru MP took officials of the (NHAI) to task for not the 850m-stretch of according to the initial plan, the authorities commenced work in the earnest on Friday, demolishing the compound wall of Jaladarshini Guest House.
The dangerous curve near Kalamandira is infamous among motorists as an accident spot, and the road-straightening project was largely conceived to eliminate it. The stretch between Kalamandira and the Valmiki Road junction is one of the busies in the city, with reports of accidents on the road now becoming commonplace. The steep curves on the road are hard to negotiate, often resulting in motorists crashing either into trees or walls on the road.

In July 2016, Dr Darshan, 35, owner of a private hospital, died after he crashed his car into a tree near the curve. In the wake of the accident, NHAI authorities decided to widen the 850m-stretch from the existing four-lane road into a six-lane road, a project for which a sum of Rs 12 crore was allocated under the Central Road Fund.

However, following opposition from environmentalists and residents against the felling of massive trees lining the road, it was decided to revise the plan. The NHAI authorities decided to widen the road only by 1m on either side. However, Simha was not too pleased with the execution of the project, and directed the NHAi officials to implement the project in accordance with the original plan by using property of the University of Mysore.

NHAI assistant executive engineer Chandrappa told TOI that they had started work on widening the road. “We have taken permission from the public works department, and started work. We will first start work near Jaladarshini, and begin work on the other side later. We will widen the road by 2m on the Jaladarshini side, and a 3m-wide pavement will be built using interlocking stones. The curve will be straightened. Meanwhile, the other side of the road will also be straightened by 6m, and the median will be shifted,” he added.

NHAI had earlier prepared a plan to acquire land stretching up to 22m on the Jaladarshini side, and 5m near Kukkarahalli Lake, which is owned by UoM to straighten the road. But since this plan would have entailed the loss of nearly 80 huge trees, environmentalists and residents opposed the plan, and it was subsequently altered. Now they are just widening around 6m on either side. Now around, six trees on Jaladarshini side and eight trees near the lake will be cut. NHAI has already taken permission from the forest department, a source said.

“We will complete work on the road by July 15. Although we have already obtained permission to cut trees on the road, we will discuss the project with environmentalists,” Chandrappa said.

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