Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, ordered widening of the crucial 26-kilometer Western Ghat segment of NH-75 into a four-lane highway during a recent meeting with industry bodies in Mangaluru. CC Patil, the Karnataka Public Works Minister, recently indicated in the State Legislative Council that the work’s project report is still being prepared. The Western Ghat stretch of the NH-75 serves as a critical link between Mangaluru and Bengaluru. The fact that several parts (10 km) of the Shirady Ghat section are not motorable has been highlighted by the region’s trade and industry associations.
Gaurav Hegde, Chairman of the CII-Mangaluru, said the proper connectivity to New Mangalore Port from the hinterland is the urgent infrastructure requirement of the region. “The port’s full potential can be better explored, if the Shirady Ghat bottleneck is solved by widening it,” he added. The Shirady Ghat stretch is vital for the movement of cargo and thousands of passengers every day. Over 40 per cent of EXIM trade from Karnataka was diverted to other ports because of the road condition.