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Exciting - Karnataka's own NHDP !!

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Infrastructure

KSHIPI am a bit surprised that mainstream media is yet to show serious interest in a PPP proposal to develop 66000 kms of roads in Karnataka. I first heard about this mega plan about two months ago, and finally, yesterday, half page ads appeared in newspapers with more details. Sounds exciting isn't it, promise of connectivity, and its about the whole state, not just Bengaluru. Call it Karnataka's own NHDP of sorts. Plan is to modernize roads, not build greenfield roadways. Highlights, here they are:

 

  • 10000 km of state highways & District Roads, and additional 12600 km of rural roads
  • Talk of a 2nd phase of 40000 km and a 3rd phase of 16000 km, no break up of phases that I know of yet
  • KRDCL will be the nodal agency
  • The promise is "all weather, access controlled ... road network with minimum 7 meter carriageway"
  • 4-6 lanes as approaches to urban settlements
  • By-passes and Ring Roads for urban areas with pop > 1 lakh
  • Service area every 50 km
  • PPP model, developer gets 1 acre of land for every 5 km of road
  • Despite this being a PPP, there is talk of tolls, and operationalizing a Karnataka Road Fund (KRF)
  • Highway patroling with GPS, vehicle breakdown & ambulance facilities
  • Service roads, underpasses for vehicles and pedestrians, cattle passes, barricades

Not mentioned in the ad, but Mr Arvind Jadhav had said that they would promise four lane connectivity to any location with Rs 100 Cr+ investment proposal Mr Jadhav' has also talked about focus on quick connectivity to Bangalore from sorrounding areas and cities (like Tumkur, Hassan, Shimoga) to help decongest the capital city.

All in all, the promises are just too exciting! Look forward to more details in the newspapers, and to hearing more from our ministers. There is a lot to digest, more comments after we understand this better.

Some quick questions I got right now are:

  • Will the state be building roads parallel to Existing National Highways. Meaning, will we see a new option besides NH4 for going to Hassan, or an alternative to NH48 for going to Mangalore?
  • What are the timelines for this project? No dates given for 1st and 2nd phases (there are phase 3 and 4 as well)
  • Around land acquisition - any new laws to do this amicably?
  • Any plans to speed up work on NHDP stretches in the state, progress has been slow when compared to Tamilnadu and even AP.
  • Will road stretches be split out by government (aka KRDCL) into smaller packages and handed to private parties? Or are private parties free to come forward and pick the stretches they want to work on?
  • Private parties will prefer working on high volume or high growth potential stretches, isn't it? What are the provisions to make sure the interest is spread evenly across big and small town connectivity?
  • Any thoughts on modernizing toll collection via wireless cards or cellphones? It will be best to force standards here at the outset itself?
  • Good fast roads will require a modern highway police - any plans to create a Karnataka Highway Police (KHP) like new body?
  • Who will be the planning authority for area around the roads? How will the state prevent "Ribbon Development" around the upgraded roads this making it difficult to control access to them?

Look forward to this exciting project, I mean it.

Comments

silkboard's picture

sources for info

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Want to add that information I posted above are based on two sources

  • Arvind Jadhav's talk to BCIC Infra Committee back in December
  • Half page ad in Business-Standard, Jan 27, Bangalore edition, page 14

I was waiting for a mainstream newspaper to carry more details, but don't see any good reports yet.

murali772's picture

can't say I am excited

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My big worry as a tree lover is that road widening is going to result in the destruction of thousands of avenue trees. Yes, they will promise to plant saplings in the ratio of 1: 10 etc. But, how many of these will survive and grow up to become trees is a big question mark. And, after those that survive, and have grown into trees, it will be time for widening the road further, and chopping off even these trees therewith. I am not sure I find the idea very exciting.

Besides, good connectivity cannot be ensured by having wide roads. What is more important is good bus services. And, if that remains a government monopoly, the whole idea is even less exciting. If the license-permit raaj is dismantled, and the 'public' proper (unfortunately termed 'private') facilitated, this deficiency can be overcome in a matter of months. That should be the first priority.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

tolls is my worry

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we are not necessarily a country of toll payers..there are many slow vehicles like tractors,autos and two wheelers which will eventually use these roads..

do we make them all pay toll?
first give them jobs to earn a decent salary to afford two sqaure meals!

The govt coffers are empty and they go announcing such PPP's to spend nothing and get name!

Think Kheny instilled this idea in the govt to make a real estate racket of the western ghats where he plans a highway from blr to mangalore!

s_yajaman's picture

Proof of the pudding

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SB,

Look at our track record. 

a. Bangalore Mangalore Highway - Shiradi Ghat.  They cannot maintain a 20 km stretch in good shape for more than 3 months

b. NH-4.  Only unfinished stretches are in Karnataka.  Hubli-Haveri is one.  I think there are a couple of others.  This is 4 years behind the revised schedule.

c. NICE- look at the mess.  We have not been able to resolve that 500m stretch called Gottigere.

d. Look at the Bangalore Mysore road via KPura and Kollegal.  Miserable.

e. Mysore Ooty road for the first 5 km after Gundlupet.  Miserable.  And this leads to a famous wildlife sanctuary.

What are we going to do differently this time?  Or are we just dishing out big plans to distract people from the current mess.  They announced the 6 laning of Bangalore Hassan long back.  I see even now details of land acquisition.  STRR seems to have vanished from all news.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Vasanth's picture

Accidents are my worry

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Uncontrolled and Unpatrolled roads will become race tracks for the youth. Basically in India, people just not commute in their cars, they want to enjoy, in otherwords 'maze' from the drive at high speeds. Car drivers and passengers loose their precious life because of this 'maze' driving.

Bangalore-Mysore for example was earlier mostly travelled by Trains because of lack of good road. As soon as the road was 4 laned and clean cement road was laid, people started driving to Mysore. This resulted in too many accidents mostly car accidents. Bus related fatal accidents reduced, it is mostly 'touch' accidents for the buses, but the car fatal accidents have increased too much. But, 4 laning has resulted in lots of developments on either sides of the road and lot many hotels have cashed in. It is the accidents which worries me.One of our close family friend's mother died on Bangalore Mysore road and his father permanently disabled.  My friend bought a new Swift and was driving from Mysore to Bangalore. A truck took reverse in a U turn near Mandya which was not anticipated by my friend. Truck hit the car which was at 100 kph. My friend's mother passed away on the spot, father permanently disabled, daughter who was sitting in the front was about to loose her eyes from the broken glass piece, friend fully fractured. This incident makes me to think twice before travelling by Car for not to loose near and dear ones.

Tolling is a good thing to reduce the cars and making people travel by Bus or Train therby safeguarding them.

Today's TOI or DH has got statistics from Nimhans which says  30%  of the patients admitted are related to highway accidents.

Vinay's picture

My lifespan is my worry

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I worry if I will be alive to see the day when all this is actually implemented. I guess any kind of infrastructure development, or any development for 'Public good' needs to go through fast-track courts, mandatorily. These courts should give judgements within 1 year at most. Only then will we see some progress in our lifetime.

kbsyed61's picture

Maze of Development Plans !

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 Going thru various papers and studies for addressing Bangalore and Karnataka's transportation needs, I am going nuts. There are so many studies, working groups and plans that are out in public forums, I am really at loss to map out the top down hierarchy of authority who would implement the plans. There is CTTP, ABIDE, KUIDFC, BMLTA etc. Is there a clear cut relationship between each of these agencies/groups that I have missed? I hope I am not the only one to feel that way?

 

idontspam's picture

Root of problems?

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"I hope I am not the only one to feel that way?"

No you are not... welcome to the club. 

Can you share some of them you find interesting in a blog or gyan page?

Arun's picture

Trees will go; Unwanted roads; another way to make money

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Without any doubts more than lakhs of trees will make way for the roads.  Over 12000 trees between Mys-Blr were lost. Several thousands between Blr-Hassan, Mys-Bantwal. Several hundreds of huge ficus trees were chopped between Shimoga and Bhadravathi.  Now Mys-Ooty road work has started. Many car-buffs say that Mys-Blr road is a good drive, but has turned out to be more dangerous than the earlier tree lined 2 way road. It is a pity that the Governments do not consider trees as a vital part of infrastructure.  
 
Instead of investing so much money on roads, proper survey for laying new railway tracks should be undertaken.  Well, definitely we do not need 4 lanes everywhere. This is another infrastructural mess in the making. Another money making idea spanning the entire state.  
 
Govt is not worried about early closures of Blr-Mys double track, completion of Shimoga-Talguppa gauge conversion, etc. One of my friends from Sirsi was telling that if Shimoga-Talguppa is ready, people can travel by train upto Talguppa and take buses to different towns/villages around Sirsi.  Currently they travel by bus and during long holidays, normal buses charge upto Rs.1000 per person.
 
Ravi_D's picture

It is always exciting....

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... to see new development initiatives. Development is normally a good thing, isn't it?

Since we are talking a lot of money (and real estate), motives could be many. I hope the final decision on each stretch is going to be based on some analytical finding, with a clear, documented 'before' and 'after' scenario. Praja members (and general public) should demand such an analysis.

I'd rather improve the 'state' of our existing roads though. Why widen the roads, cut trees, throw money and real estate away (and not to mention our current right to free ride!), if existing lane widths are sufficient? Given proper surface finish and strength, marking, controlled gradients, access control, intersection management, enforcement, city bypasses etc, our roads can certainly carry a lot more traffic. Has anyone done any analysis on this one yet? Some sections of the roads may need to be widened, but it may turn out to be a fraction of the total.

And even when widening the roads, I don't understand why we have to fell trees on both sides. Why can't we plan to opt to keep one side of them?

In any case, I think we are better off if we spent our resources understanding, documenting and cleaning up the mess we already have, before we look at adding to the existing chaos.

Ravi

hegde's picture

going to be useful

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this project will be useful

-Hegde
Vasanth's picture

Wanted to correct It is 80% who are killed in highway accidents

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It was TOI, and statistics from Nimhans says that it is 80% of the people who are killed in Highway Accidents and 20% in City Accidents.

asj's picture

Here is something to worry about

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n's picture

More information

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Below are some more links:
Article in Deccan Herald that gives a little more (and a little different?) information.
The KRDCL website provides list of routes and packages at PPP Initiative, a tender calling for a financial advisorfor PPP projects (hopefully Praja's future liaison) that is included in this full list of tenders(don't have the patience to look at all of it).  Hope that answers some questions (while raising others) and whets some curiosity ;-)

Added:  Some information on PPP in Karnataka and India (may not be the most up-to-date).

ssheragu's picture

ssheragu

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plan to modernize state roads on PPP while the plan is quite welcome, my big worry is that the private developers will be allowed land to buy along the these roads for commericial and township ventures (about 10 acres); this will lead to concretization along the sides of the roads; thus the greenery and its associated beauty will be spoilt for ever; so the state govt. shuld have other means of atracting private partners; here are a few suggetsions (1) the private players should be allowed to buy land only for establishment of flower gardens and fruits orchards, upto about 10 acres; the produce from these gardens can be sold by them for profit; THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BUY LAND FOR construction of COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS AND TOWNSHIPS (2) for the rest of the length of the roads between villages and towns, afforestation should be made (3) all these roads should be of concrete with boundaries along the roads to prevent straying of animals and cattle (3) there should not be any signal lights for turns instead underpasses and flyovers should be constructed and undindered traffic flow should be implemented (4) praja should intreract with these private dvelopers so that our views can be easily realized many thanks Srinath Heragu
nijavaada's picture

Why does Karnataka have to do this:

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While I dont disagree with any of the misuses our society might have been putting our existent roads (along with the holes/ditches and whatnots in them) to, I strongly stand up for this decision to increase and improve the road network in Karnataka. 
 
If we find youth using these wide & high speed roads as personal race tracks, well, let us look ahead in the decades to come. Today there is a dearth for such wide roads, and hence whenever someone finds a patch of open land, he races his automobile! Tomorrow when every road around us is a wide and high speed one, racing gets boring, and commonplace! Everyone on that road would be doing a 120 and who would find these racing bikes different?
 
And coming to the tangential mention of NHDP, I wish to digress from there. Our state has stayed behind badly when it comes to getting National Highway projects approved, and hence we stand to have a contastingly low NH (kms) per Square Km of state geographical area. In this regard we stand far less than TN, and even Bihar! Given the amount of industrialisation Karnataka has as opposed to both these states, we deserve a lot more NH projects approved by Center under the NHDP - which is expected to be a fair providence. 
 
In fact just recently NHDP announced numbers of NH kilometers in each state that it would cover. While already doing good TN is getting 72% of its roads revised, upgraded, improved and widened, Karnataka received a mere 36%. There is also a startling percentage of inter-city roads in TN which have in the recent past been converted into National Highways - which normally should have been State Highways. This is not the case in our state however. Outcome is, in this "federal" setup, states get (tax-)money and infrastructural investment (from the center) as much as they lobby at the center. While it is sad that such a practice is in vogue in our setup, it is even more sad that Karnataka has not been doing its bit (with the center) to get its people what they federally "deserve."
 
All this is cause for such immense deficit in highways inside our state, thus paving way for projects burdening the state's treasury. This manifests as higher state taxes, higher fuel prices, higher energy rates etc. in Karnataka compared to some neighbouring states. Whether it is PPP or purely state-run, there's a burden our state treasury bears in these projects - which could have been borne by the center - assuming we're looked at as an equal state (like TN or BH) in this Federal Indian Union. This is a serious loss to Karnataka's tax payers. This leaking pipe must be plugged..
 
"Come what may, progress has to go on" - seems to be what our state is saying through this project, but at what cost? Our taxes are being invested in making more roads here, while the states of TN & Bihar are making a huge savings on such taxes.. thereby find more developmental avenues to invest their taxes on. This inequity between states is unbearable in our federal union of states. Responsible citizens here in Praja must be aware of this, and realise that organisations of informed citizens must come forward and join the cause of pressing the state govt. to act tough at the center and help get a fair share for Karnataka.

-Nijavaada
-Nijavaada
tsubba's picture

bored?

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If we find youth using these wide & high speed roads as personal race tracks, well, let us look ahead in the decades to come. Today there is a dearth for such wide roads, and hence whenever someone finds a patch of open land, he races his automobile! Tomorrow when every road around us is a wide and high speed one, racing gets boring, and commonplace! Everyone on that road would be doing a 120 and who would find these racing bikes different?

i have not read other posts in this thread. but taking this contention on its own merit.

that is only true for a fixed population. every year new bunch of kids get their licences and kids with a natural fancy for sound and speed. even if it were cycles kids and men in general have a natural fancy for speed.

sanity & safety on roads can only be achieved through enforcement.

the road network itself is a must and will ensure greater cohesion between different parts of the state. spread oppurtunities.

talking of which, NH-4 perhaps the most important artery in KA completed yet?

 

 

 

 

Vasanth's picture

Necessary Evil

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As TS said, these are necessary evils. We know our roads are  not safe, literally become racing tracks and take the lives of many, this has become a necessary evil for economic development. Mysore Road for example after 4 laning has resulted in economic development on either sides of the road . Cities and Towns like Mandya, Channapatna, Ramanagaram and Bidadi have changed.

After 4 laning, Trucks and Bus accidents have reduced  and car accidents have increased. Lots of bus companies are introducing Volvos and nowadays Mercedes buses. It is safer and more comfortable to travel in these buses than cars in these highways unless until it is absolutely needed. Karnataka is lagging in rail infrastructure from years, hence alternative are the NHDPs.

nijavaada's picture

Lets Remember

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@ Vasanth,
I am beginning to wonder what kind of economic development you're referring to here, in places along SH-17. Because if you're talking about hotels coming along SH-17, and village density increasing alarmingly closer to the highway, that is not what we want, even if people might be impressed by the economic strength it. might have created in people.

In the long run, we actually dont want highways to attract neighbourhoods, or townships, or any villages to flourish around highways - for they are more often the deterrants to the very purpose of a highway - to help reach from place A to place B. Besides, there's a heck lot of more area in our land out there which people can occupy. In fact people out there just dont come and occupy places nearer to roads - all these must be getting politically motivated, and that, we need to help stop.

Slightly leading to a different topic, but couldnt help clarify the stand we need to have upon highways, on this thread itself.

-Nijavaada
-Nijavaada
ssheragu's picture

commercialization of national highways

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ssheragu Hello Prajagale & Vasanth / Nijavaada I would like to reoeat what I have posted earleir While the plan to modernize state roads on PPP is quite welcome, my big worry is that the private developers will be allowed land to buy along the these roads for commericial and township ventures (about 10 acres); this will lead to concretization along the sides of the roads; thus the greenery and its associated beauty will be spoilt for ever; so the state govt. shuld have other means of atracting private partners; Pleaseconsider my suggestions in all fairness (1) the private players should be allowed to buy land only for establishment of flower gardens and fruits orchards, upto about 10 acres; the produce from these gardens can be sold by them for profit; THEY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BUY LAND FOR construction of COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS AND TOWNSHIPS (2) for the rest of the length of the roads between villages and towns, afforestation should be made (3) all these roads should be of concrete with boundaries along the roads to prevent straying of animals and cattle (3) there should not be any signal lights for turns instead underpasses and flyovers should be constructed and undindered traffic flow should be implemented (4) praja should intreract with these private dvelopers so that our views can be easily realized we, especially Srinath Heragu / Vasanth / Nijavaada should form a core team, contact the govt. department / agency repsonsible for inviting private parties, discuss these plans with the govt. department / agency & private parties and make sure that they are implemented so that any passsneger is offered a visual treat of greenery for 100 Kms of road length between two towns sperated by a distance of 120 Kms. many thanks Srinath Heragu gau
E.R. Ramachandran's picture

Bad Roads! Bad Roads!

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I went to Coonoor last week by KSRTC bus. Last year I drove with my friends to Bluff, Sivanasamudram. There are some facts which I have experienced:

1. When you cross over, even with eyes closed you can tell if you have entered Karnataka or leaving Karnataka State. The condition of roads will give you a jarring jab and from then on only god help your back!

2. The drive between Mysore and even Nanjanagud is the worst experience anybody can have. Letters to the Editor by well known town planners and Engineers are not even read by authorities.

3.The road between Gundlupet and Bandipur is so bad most of the vehicles had abandoned the so called road and were driving on the uneven mud track next to the tarred road on either side!

4.Two years back when we drove to Shivanasamudram for a Jalothsava festival, the driving experience put all of us out of action for a week.

5.Even the road between Mysore and the 'world-famous' KRS Brindavan Gardens is an apology of a road. Why is it so?Ask the present Lokayuktha and his predessor.They can give statistics who were supervising the roads etc..

As long as corruption is raging, either by PWD or Municipal corpn and the bosses for a variety of reasons turn a blind eye, nothing is going to change. I know for a fact that roads in Mysore almost always get funds TWICE a year- once from the city corporation and' special Dasara' funds from the C.M. Last year, like every year, the roads were' 'spruced up' before Dasara and the authorities claimed The civil Engineering Depts of NIE / SJCE had given 'satisfactory' certificates after inspection by them. The condition of roads were so bad, both these colleges went to the press claiming they were in no way connected with the roads that were spruced up! Unless, there is a sea- change in the attitude of the bosses and their colleagues, pride in their work , a modicum of honesty our roads will remain a mud-track!

sarvagna's picture

Any updates on this

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Any updates on this project.Looks like everyone have forget about this project. Has this project been halted?


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