Twin Cities Dream Closer, But Local Businesses Worried, even though the 119 km expressway will cut down the distance between Bengaluru and Mysuru but the major concern is about the casualties that the local business will face.
“Bengaluru and Mysuru are important cities in Karnataka. One is known for technology while the other is for tradition. It is quite significant to connect both cities through technology,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing a public meeting in Mandya after inaugurating the expressway.
The Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking its official opening to the public. The 119-km expressway has been built under the central government’s flagship programme, Bharatmala Pariyojana (BMP), at a cost of Rs 8,480 crore, and is aimed at reducing travel time between the two cities from three hours to 75 minutes.
The fully access-controlled expressway has six to 10 lanes and features 50 bypasses, 64 underpasses (including pedestrian underpasses), 11 overpasses, 19 large bridges, 44 small bridges, and four railway overbridges. The toll for the expressway was initially set at Rs 135 for a one-way journey and Rs 205 for a return trip for light motor vehicles (LMV), but the collection has been deferred until March 15 due to incomplete service roads in some stretches. Two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws will not be allowed access to the expressway. The project, which began in 2019, was delayed due to several hurdles, including the Covid-19 pandemic. The expressway is expected to benefit not just Mysuru but also neighbouring destinations in the state of Karnataka, including Kodagu, Mangaluru, and Chikkamagaluru, as well as tourist destinations in bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Controversy Around the Expressway
The construction of the new expressway in Karnataka has sparked controversy, particularly regarding the naming of the road and its impact on local businesses. While BJP leader SM Krishna suggested naming the expressway after erstwhile king Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, MP Pratap Simha argued for the name ‘Cauvery expressway’ as the river flows along the region and is a major water source for the state.
Additionally, local businesses, such as the famous eateries and hotels in Bidadi and Maddur, and toy makers in Channapatna, are worried about the direct impact of the expressway on their businesses. However, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has assured that there will be exit and entry roads to access these towns. Nevertheless, some traders remain upset, particularly those who rely on highway traffic to sell their products. They are calling on the government to support their businesses and keep their dying art alive.