Five short tunnels to be built on Shiradi Ghat

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Bengaluru: The Union government is considering digging tunnels to provide better road connectivity between coastal parts of the state and Bengaluru. The proposal was discussed at a meeting presided over by Union highways and surface transport minister Oscar Fernandes.
 
According to the proposal, five short tunnels of total 7.7 km length and high-pier bridges of total 10 km distance would be built to ensure a smooth and hassle-free movement of vehicles on Shiradi Ghat, along the Mangalore-Bengaluru National Highway.
 
Mr Fernandes told Deccan Chronicle that he would personally inspect the spots on the way to Mangalore and would then consider the proposal. “There are two parts to the proposal. One, environmental feasibility and the other the financial viability," he said, adding that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation would fund the project.
 
The minister elicited opinions from big contractors, who have taken up highway projects. “The contractors, who were given projects on BOOT basis, told me that the revenue model they had worked out before taking up road projects may not be realistic considering the vehicle flow on the roads. Due to global slowdown, there has been a delay in execution of these roads. After I interact with officers and other stakeholders, I will be in a position to take a decision," he said.
 
The officers were told to place a proposal on taking up a railway project connecting Hubli and Ankola, besides a proposal to widen the national highway, an officer who attended the meeting said.

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