Old laws cause a new headache

Several roads passing through the Central Business District that include Raj Bhavan Road and Museum Road were notified as National Highways in the early 1960s.

Published: 29th June 2017 10:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2017 10:41 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: You may not know but Queen’s Road and MG Road are National Highways! Several such roads passing through the Central Business District that include Indiranagar Main Road, Raj Bhavan Road, Museum Road, City Market Road and Yeshwantpur Road were notified as National Highways (NH), as early as in the early 1960s.

Following the Supreme Court liquor ban on highways, this means that pubs on these arterial roads may have to shut down. Public Works Department (PWD) officials say that unless the Union government denotifies these roads and issues a fresh gazette notification, they will continue to be National Highways, even if the local civic agency is maintaining them.

The Jayakar committee recommended over eight decades back that “Since the provincial governments and the local bodies were unable to look after all the roads, the Central government should look after the roads of national importance.” The country did not even get Independence then. In 1963, respective state governments and the Union government started identifying and giving numbers to important roads, said a senior PWD official.

Since the formation of Outer Ring Road (ORR) 20 years back, long-distance traffic has reduced drastically on the three national highways: Coimbatore to Bengaluru (NH 209),  Varanasi- Kanyakumari (NH 7) and Mumbai - Chennai (NH 4) respectively. However, these roads continue to be NHs on record.

“We are going by the Government of India gazette notification on NH and based on that, notices are served by the DC (Excise), who works under Bengaluru Urban DC,” Nagaraj Reddy, assistant commissioner (Enforcement) in Bengaluru Urban DC’s office, told Express.

Chief Engineer (Major Roads) K T Nagaraj said the construction of ORR, Peripheral Ring Road and NICE Road has significantly reduced the burden on the National Highways passing through the city. “The onus of maintaining these roads lies on BBMP.  The civic body also looks after asphaltation and filling of potholes and  removing unscientific road humps,’’ he said.


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