Mysore: While works for the expansion of National Highway-212 is now gathering pace, after a considerable delay, indications are that users of the Highway will have to pay toll for using the road.
PWD Minister, Dr H C Mahadevappa, who inspected the works of the road recently, indicated the same.
However, officials of the National Highways said that the decision on tolling was yet to be finalised.
Sridharmurthy, Executive Engineer, National Highways said that toll gates were considered as works were earlier planned to be taken up under PPP (Private Public Partnership) model.
“However, since works are now being taken up under EPC (Engineering Procurement Contract), the government will take a clear stand only after the works are completed. They might set up toll booths, or they might not,” he added.
Speaking on alternative routes suggested, as NH-212 passed through Mysore, he said that the proposal had not been dropped and was being considered.
Earlier, residents of Mysore had complained that a highway passing through the centre of the city would increase traffic density. There were also additional concerns, as the highway passed very close to Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens.
“Once works start in a full-fledged manner, we will consider the suggestions and implement accordingly,” he said.
He added that about 73 acres of land would be acquired for the expansion of the highway, for which the Central government had already released Rs 28 crore.
No threat to BTR
The works to expand NH-212, might not have any detrimental effects ton Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR), at least in the immediate future. The NHAI has decided against taking up any work in the 18.8-kilometre stretch inside BTR due to various factors, for the next two years.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Sridharmurthy said that there was opposition to expanding the highway along the stretch, as there would be environmental loss in one of the important tiger reserves of the country.
Many trees will have to be felled along the stretch during expansion, which has been opposed by environmentalists.
Moreover, since the resurfacing of road inside BTR was done recently, there is no need to take up any new work for two years, he said.
He said that the Forest department had sent its recommendations for the expansion of the Highway already. If any work has to be taken up inside the reserve, then the Centre will approve of the same, he added.