The four-laning of the coastal highway in Karnataka from the Goa border to Kundapura is nearing completion with over 92 per cent progress of works.
The 187 km long section of National Highway (NH) 66 (previously NH 17) is already open to traffic, and the whole project is expected to be complete by December 2022.
In March 2013, the NHAI and IWTPL (IRB West-coast Tollway Private Limited), an SPV of IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd., entered into a Concession Agreement to develop, operate and maintain the Goa/Karnataka Border to Kundapur Section of NH 17 (now NH 66) Project.
The concession period of the project is 28 years from the Appointed Date. The Concessionaire is allowed to collect the notified user fee from the road users during this period.
Further, IWTPL was entrusted to expand a 187 km section between Goa/ Karnataka Border and Kundapur in Karnataka from two to four lanes on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.
This highway section of Karnataka includes 14 major bridges, 39 minor bridges, three railway over bridges, four flyovers and a 61 km service road.
Out of 187 km, the 173 km stretch is complete. NH 66 is a major highway along the western coast of India. It extends from Panvel near Mumbai to Kanyakumari, passing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu state for 1,608 km.
It connects major cities and towns along the way, including Panvel, Chiplun, Ratnagiri, Panaji, Margao, Karwar, Udupi, Surathkal, Mangalore, Kozhikode, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kanyakumari.
The 187 km long stretch of this highway in Karnataka is known for passing through scenic locations with the Arabian sea on one side and western ghats on the other.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has described this highway section in Karnataka as a link between West and South India.
“This strategic highway passes through a variety of terrains with almost 50 per cent of the length passing through rolling terrain (45 km) and mountainous terrain (24 km),” he said.
“This highway development has helped in providing a new impetus to economic development in the project influence area with multifold opportunities for new commercial and industrial establishments. This has led to creation of direct and indirect jobs for the local population,” he added.
Further, Gadkari said that the project would reduce travel time, prevent accidents, optimize vehicle operating costs, help fuel savings due to smoother roads, and reduce congestion for inter and intra-state commuters.
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