Mangaluru: The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry submitted a memorandum regarding long pending issues of the city related to road connectivity and construction of bridges, to the Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari here, on December 15.
The memorandum demanded better connectivity to Export Promotion Industrial Park (EPIP) at Ganjimutt. NH-50 connecting Mangaluru to EPIP is a single road which is proposed to be widened. The road connecting NH-66 to NH-50 at the Bikarnakatte flyover is just 3 meters where only one vehicle can pass. The exporters from this area are facing hardships in transporting their goods in containers due to the narrow roads. New investors are also reluctant to take up land in this industrial park, which has one of the best infrastructures in this region. KCCI also requested the a 7 meter service road be provided between Baikampady and Kulur along the NMPT property as this road sees a lot of port related vehicular movement.
It also noted that there is no service road between Baikampady and Surathkal. There are four major suburbs which are densely populated. In the last 5 years, there have been more than nine hundred accidents and above 100 deaths caused due to accidents on this sector. The port connectivity project has also not proposed service roads to this sector. The memorandum urged the minister to direct the officials to survey and propose the service road.
In addition, the service road connecting the flyovers at Surathkal, Kulur, Kottara and Bikarnakatte are just 3 meters wide, which is very unscientific. Heavy vehicles commute on this road which keeps getting blocked most of the time, and in Surathkal the vehicles have to come on the wrong route, which is very dangerous. The junction points the flyovers to the service roads need to be widened in order to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
The NHAI has submitted a proposal for Gurpur-Kaikamba Bypass Road NH-50 which is totally unscientific. The proposal for the road has 3 sharp bends within a short distance, an improper gradient and is next to a steep valley which will increase the cost of laying the same. This proposed road overlaps the present existing state highway, which in turn will increase the already heavy traffic on the said state highway.
Instead, the KCCI submitted a proposal carried out with a scientific approach and surveys for consideration with the following benefits.
1) There will be only one bend for the same stretch.
2) The stretch will be decreased in length by 10% than the NHAI proposed road.
3) There will be minimum acquisitions in the proposed stretch.
3) The road will be straight with proper gradient for the entire length of the bypass.
4) It is also easier for future expansions due to the straightness in nature.
5) It will also help in increasing fuel economy and reducing accidents and blockages.
The KCCI also requested for the expedition of the re-construction work of old bridge at Baikampady Railway. The road connecting to Baikampady from NH-66 needs improvement for free flow of vehicular transport into Baikampady industrial area, which is the second biggest industrial area in the state. The constraint is the bottleneck at the entrance to the Industrial Area due to the non-completion of the railway over bridge. Entrepreneurs and the public have to face blockade for hours during peak hours.
Since one of the bridges is in the completion stage, KCCI also requested the minister to see that the work on the old bridge is expedited and proper planning on the feeder roads is provided for easing the vehicular movement to the industrial area.
Other demands were as follows.
Toll collection on Highways to be deferred till all service roads and bridges are completed. Mangaluru to Kundapur National Highway & Shiradi Ghat Roads to be taken up on a priority basis as the work on the Mangaluru to Kundapur stretch of the National Highway has literally come to a stand still. The 2nd phase of concretization and road improvement work of the of the National Highway from Gundia to Hassan which is pending, as well as the road widening of the Highway from B C Road to Hassan projects should also be completed early as the commuters are facing great hardship due to the incompletion of these projects.
Improvement of Cruise Terminal at new Mangalore Port: Even though a number of Cruise vessels call on Mangalore Port, the facilities for the passengers at the Terminal are inadequate and the passengers are put to a lot of hardship both from the amenities and Immigration point of view. KCCI requested the minister’s intervention for the improvement of these facilities in order to mitigate these problems as well as to attract more Cruise Liners to call on Mangalore Port.
Inclusion of Mangaluru in the Coastal Circuit Policy for Global Cruise Lines: The Centre has initiated the Coastal Circuit policy for Global Cruise Lines, identifying Goa (Mormugao), Mumbai and Kochi as possible ports of call for global cruise lines. KCCI requested the minister to include Mangaluru in this circuit as it is en-route from Goa to Kochi and offers cruise passengers, a unique temple and cuisine experience. Mangaluru being a major port, this move will greatly benefit the tourism industry in the state and will contribute immensely to the development of Mangaluru and Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts as a whole.