Mandya: The Centre will come up with wayside amenities by the side of National Highways including the newly-opened 10-lane Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway for passengers, truckers and tourists. The Expressway was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mandya yesterday.
Addressing the public meeting after the inauguration, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that facilities under the policy, drafted by the Ministry, will offer a range of services that will include parking for vehicles, food courts, heliport, droneport, fuel stations, restrooms and kiosks for sale of local specialities and help battle unemployment.
“Recognising the lack of wayside amenities along the highways as we see in Germany, Europe and the US, we have decided to provide wayside amenities National Highways, which will be developed through private participation. In Karnataka, such roadside amenities will be provided at 23 places,” he said.
The roadside amenities will also feature stalls for handicrafts, handlooms, silk, wooden carving, furniture, honey and sandalwood products. “These facilities will not only provide adequate rest and refreshment for different highway commuters such as cars, buses and heavy vehicles but will offer area-specific handicrafts by local artisans besides local food and fruits. We will provide free road access permission to facilities, besides facilitating the setting up of oil and gas outlets,” he added.
He said the 118-km-long Expressway project faced difficulties at the initial stage as fertile land had to be acquired from farmers for the construction of the highway. “There were only 24 underpasses in the original plan of the Expressway but due to demands from local representatives and MPs, the total number of underpasses had increased to 89,” he revealed.
“Now with the launch of the Expressway, there will be an increase in the number of tourists from within the country and foreign nations visiting Mysuru and it will also contribute to the development of the region. Tourists can travel in an hour between Bengaluru and Mysuru without any traffic problems,” Gadkari said.
On the Mysuru-Kushalnagar Corridor project, being developed at a cost of Rs. 4,130 crore he said the 93-km stretch, which will connect Bengaluru and Mangaluru, will boost the economic activity in the region.
“The journey between Mysuru and Kushalnagar will be reduced to half from five hours saving fuel and reducing pollution. As Kodagu is rated as one of the top hill stations in the country, it helps travellers reach their destinations easily. This route can be an alternative to reach Mangaluru port, he said.