Before polls, PM Modi gifts development projects to Karnataka

New Delhi  | Updated: 12 March, 2023 3:39 pm IST
PM Modi greets supporters at a roadshow in Mandya, Karnataka on Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway and laid the foundation stone of various development projects worth ₹16,000 crores in Mandya district of poll-bound Karnataka on Sunday.

One of the most important projects is the Mysuru-Kushalnagar four-lane expressway which, once completed, will reduce travel time to 75 minutes from 3 hours, according to authorities.

Among the projects launched by PM are the world’s longest railway platform, Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji Hubballi station, redeveloped Hosapete railway station which has been designed to resemble the Hampi monuments and IIT Dharwad.

The foundation stone of IIT Dharwad was also laid by PM Modi in 2019. The prime minister will also lay the foundation stone for Dharwad Multi Village Water Supply Scheme and inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for various projects of Hubballi-Dharwad smart city.

PM Modi started his visit by holding a roadshow in Madya, which received a thunderous welcome as his supporters showered flower petals and raised slogans.

With 224 assembly seats, Karnataka will go to polls later this year.

The Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway involves six-laning of the Bengaluru-Nidaghatta-Mysuru section of NH-275. The 118-km-long project has been developed at a total cost of around ₹8,480 crores.

It has more than 50 bridges, four railway overbridges, 35 vehicular underpasses and over 13 pedestrian underpasses along the stretch.

“The rapid pace of development of infrastructure projects has been a testament to the vision of the prime minister to ensure world-class connectivity across the country. It will act as a catalyst for socio-economic development in the region,” said the prime minister’s office (PMO).

The expressway also goes way beyond Mysuru, with some of the most important tourist towns and destinations in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

It also passes through Ramanagara – a small town located about 60 km from Bengaluru where Bollywood blockbuster Sholay was shot.

The expressway comprises greenfield sections that form bypasses around Bidadi (7 km), Ramanagara-Channapatna (22 km), Maddur (7 km including 3.5 km of elevated highway), Mandya (10 km) and Srirangapatna (7 km).

The BJP is likely to highlight the construction of the highway as a major achievement in the upcoming polls as it is likely to bring more investments to Mysuru, which the government aims to develop as Karnataka’s financial hub.

Meanwhile, political parties have locked horns over the naming of the expressway and the credit for its construction. Janata Dal (Secular) – which has a strong presence in the Old Mysuru region – has said that the brainchild of their party boss.

Many parties and regional outfits want the government to name the expressway after former Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan, an idea the BJP is staunchly opposed to.

BJP is significantly weaker in this region and the party is trying to cash in on the new development projects and PM Modi’s visit.

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