The 4-lane Outer Ring Road (ORR) which converges to a two-lane stretch at the intersection of railway lines at four places, will be widened with funding by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
The 41.5 km long ORR – which is now part of the national highways – converges to a two-lane road at the intersection of the Mysuru-Bengaluru, Mysuru-Nanjangud, Mysuru-Hassan and Mysuru-RBI printing press railway lines and poses threat to motorists. The road widening could not be taken up all these years due to various issues including funding.
The issue was kept in the backburner and was pending before the authorities since many years with the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) washing its hands off the issue as the ORR has now been transferred to NHAI for maintenance.
But senior MoRTH officials were apprised of the imperatives of rectifying the lacunae during their visit to Mysuru last month and it has now transpired that the four junctions will be identified as “Black Spots’’ and funds will be released for their widening on a priority basis.
Mysuru MP Pratap Simha said the MoRTH has a policy to identify accident prone areas or ‘’black spots’’ along the NH so as to rectify the anomaly – pertaining to geometrical design or other factors – that compromises the safety parameters.
Under this policy permanent remedial measures can be taken up including junction improvement by way of constructing underpass, overpass, flyover or improving the curvature and alignment.
The NHAI will also take up the asphalting and maintenance of the ORR which is pending since many years. The asphalting work has already commenced along short stretches and the MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajiv told The Hindu that the work is expected to cost around ₹ 120 crore.
The ORR itself was completed at a cost of nearly ₹350 crore and though developed and laid by the MUDA, the local body had expressed its inability to bear the cost of annual maintenance of ORR and transferred it to NHAI almost 3 years ago.
ORR is officially part of NHAI and connects NH-275 near Hinkal village, NH-150A near Columbia Asia Hospital, and NH-766 near APMC Bandipalya, as per the NHAI route map.
Mr. Rajiv said the current work entails complete asphalting of the ORR and it is the first major work undertaken by the authorities after the road was thrown open for traffic a few years ago.
Though the road will be maintained by NHAI the MUDA and the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) will jointly bear the electricity charges of lighting which works out to nearly ₹2.5 crore per annum.
He said plans are afoot to replace the conventional bulbs of the streetlights along ORR with LED bulbs and this is expected to reduce power consumption and lead to savings in energy bills.