Four-laning project hits a roadblock

November 5, 2013


DHARWAD: Had everything gone according to the plan, Hubli-Dharwad should have had theBus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in place by the end of 2014. But the pace of work suddenly slowed down causing inconvenience to the people travelling between Dharwad and Hubli.The demand for converting the 22 km between Dharwad and Hubli into a four-lane stretch to ease traffic congestion and to improve connectivity was long pending and the BJP government finally swung into action in 2011. Thirty acres of land was acquired for widening of the road.

The government had already sanctioned Rs 177 crore for converting the 10.5 km stretch between Alur Venkatrao Circle in Dharwad and Hosur Cross in Hubli into a four-lane concrete road. The 13.5 km stretch between Vidyagiri to Unkal Cross was to be 55m wide while from Vidyagiri to Alur Venkatrao Circle and Unkal Ccross to Hosur Cross the width was to be 35m. The work was assigned to GVR group of Andhra Pradesh.

The preliminary work of cutting the trees on either side was completed earnestly. Even as the work had begun, the idea of introducing Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) was mooted. The idea was to convert the road for BRTS and provide the two central lanes for BRTS while the two lanes on either side were to be for use by other vehicles.

When the demand came for upgrading the road into a six-lane stretch, more land was needed to make the road a six-lane. A team of experts from CEPT University of Ahmedabad prepared a plan for the BRTS between City Bus Terminus (CBT) in Hubli and CBT Dharwad covering a distance of 22.2km. The plan envisaged that the RTS track would have 39 stops, three underpasses, three subways for pedestrians and an overbridge. The RTS was to enable nearly 70% of commuters reach the destination fast and also reduce pollution. The World Bank-funded BRTS was to be completed in three years from 2011. BRTS involves providing two lanes exclusively for movement of buses, construction of depots, bus bays, subways, additional hi-tech buses and comprehensive ticketing system among others which would cost Rs 450 crore.

Principal secretary to the department of surface transport V Manjula at a meeting in 2011 said that the World Bank had already sanctioned Rs 202 crore and the remaining amount should be contributed by the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, NWKRTC and Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority.

Considering the financial constraint and delay involved in finishing the preliminary work, the authorities had decided to go ahead first with the four-lane project.

The work which had started earnestly in 2011 has slowed down considerably. The passengers and the residents complained that people residing on either side of the road were facing trouble as the works have been stopped. Incomplete work has created pollution by generating dust. Commuting between Hubli and Dharwad has turned cumbersome.


* The 22 km stretch between Dharwad and Hubli was taken up for conversion into four-lane and the work of widening commenced in 2010 by Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL).

* 30 acres of land acquired for the purpose

* Trees along the road on either side felled to facilitate road-widening

* When this process was on, the idea of introducing Bus Rapid Transit System mooted

* BRTS needed acquisition of more land as there were plans to make the road a six-lane stretch

* Since the process of land acquisition was time-consuming, it was decided that the work of converting the road into four-lane stretch be finished first

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