BANGALORE: As many as 1,800 tress have been cut to widen National Highway (NH) 212 which connects the State with Kerala. According to sources, a total of 2,667 full-grown tress are proposed to be cut for the project. Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa said the work is being executed by contractors under the supervision of the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI).
“Widening the road without cutting the trees is not possible. Although, I am against cutting of trees...I am helpless. We have to cut 2,667 trees to widen this NH. This is a busy stretch and fatal accidents are frequent. The work will commence after clearing the felled trees. Fund has been given to Karnataka Forest Department for cutting the trees as well as plant new saplings,” the minister said.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways approved this project on December 31, 2013. The work would be taken up on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) model at an estimated cost of `489.29 crore. The project includes construction of a two-lane and four-lane road with paved shoulders from the Kerala border to Kollegal in the State. Around 2,78,216 sq m of land would be acquired in Gundlupet and Kollegal in Chamarajanagar district and Nanjangud, Mysore rural, Mysore city, and T Narsipur. The NH 212 starts from Mulehole Halla in Bandipur forest in the State and passes via Gundlupet- Nanjangud- Mysore-T Narsipur and ends at Kollegal at Uttamballi junction where it joins NH 209. A major bridge would also be built across the Kabini river at Nanjangud as part of the project.
The Minister said the highway stretch between Mysore city and Nanjangud, considered one of the busiest stretches on the NH, would be converted into a four-lane road to ease traffic. The total length of the road would be 131 km and it would reduce the time and cost of travel between Kozhikode in Kerala and Kollegal. There would be a four-lane road with paved shoulder between Mysore and Nanjangud; two-lane with paved shoulder from Nanjangud to Gundlupet; a five km-long four-lane road in Mysore city; two km four-lane road in Gundlupet town. Also a 12 km road between Gundlupet and Kozhikode would pass through reserve forest where a two-lane road would be laid in the existing land without cutting any tree.
Mahadevappa said toll fee would be collected from road users after completion of the road work. However, he said that the toll would be decided after holding talks with all stakeholders.