The battered stretches of National Highway 66 between Nanthoor Junction and Surathkal have acquired a new look, thanks to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that has undertaken extensive restoration works.
The 17-km stretch of four-lane NH 66 built under the Port Connectivity Project was filled with pot-holes and craters during and after the monsoon. Slow moving vehicles on the stretch that also connects the New Mangalore Port, had been causing frequent traffic snarls on the busy stretch of the highway that connects the northern and southern parts of the country.
NHAI came under severe criticism for the pathetic condition of the stretch, for which it collects exorbitant toll at the Surathkal Toll Plaza. With the monsoon getting extended beyond October, NHAI and the State Public Works Department had to resort to temporary patch-filling work on the highway before the November 2 visit of Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu to the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, at Surathkal.
Post-December, the authority took up road restoration works starting with concreting of busy junctions, including Chokkabettu Junction, near Kulai.
Later, the T Junction in the Baikampady Industrial Area on NH 66 that had witnessed massive erosion, was restored with fixing of paving blocks. The battered ascending ramp of Kulur Flyover too was restored thereafter.
Meanwhile, NHAI has been giving a fresh coat of bitumen on the remaining stretches of the highway, between Baikampady and Kulur, between Kulur and Nanthoor and on other stretches.