The long-drawn debate between the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) over who would build the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) around Bengaluru has finally come to an end. The Centre has agreed to take up the project under the Bharat Mala Pariyojana. Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan confirmed the development and added that the NHAI was preparing the detailed project report.

    The 65-km-long PRR stretch from Tumkur Road to Hosur Road — which looks to ease the load off the Outer Ring Road — will now be funded and built by NHAI.
    Around 1,810 acres have already been earmarked by the BDA for the project. A source said the NHAI would require around Rs 41,000 crore for the project. Of this, Rs 25,000 crore would be for land acquisition and compensation (according to the new Act), while the construction will cost Rs 16,000 crore.

    Now that ownership is out of the way, the focus is on the compensation package. A source in NHAI said they were looking into various models to take up the project. They can either take up the project on the usual PPP model or the hybrid annuity model (the Bengaluru-Mysuru six-lane project will be taken up under this mode).

    Under this model, the concessionaire would fund 60 per cent of the project cost while the rest would be borne by the Centre. The Centre hopes that by doing so, it can attract a number of bidders. The NHAI officials in Bengaluru said the current project details were being worked out in New Delhi. For years, the PRR project was like a game of football between NHAI and BDA. As the ORR was saturated, the state government, headed by the then Chief Minister SM Krishna, had mooted PRR to be constructed by the BDA. Later, however, NHAI officials had asked the state government to hand over the project. But during the time, the BDA had intervened and took over for the implementation which never took off.

    Then, the BDA said NHAI would construct it and the latter said the BDA had taken over the project. Only during the last meeting, it was decided at the Chief Secretary level that the project will be handed over to the Centre.

    PC Mohan (MP, Bengaluru Central) told Mirror that he had taken up the issue in parliament, and it was heard. “It’s a good sign for Benglauru. PRR is a much-needed project… we need to connect it from one point to another point. PRR will ease the pressure on city’s roads. Vehicles entering the city from Tumkuru side will have direct exit towards Tamil Nadu on Hosur Road,” he added.

    Bharat Mala Pariyojana

    Through Bharat Mala Pariyojana, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways takes up a detailed account of the National Highway network with the aim to improve connectivity.

    The Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) is aimed to decongest the city’s roads, especially the Outer Ring Road, which is used by at least 10,000 trucks every day. To relieve the traffic pressure on ORR and other major roads of Bengaluru city, a Peripheral Ring Road of 65 km was planned outside of the ORR. This road would not only improve connectivity to areas beyond the ORR, but would also ease congestion. It will start from Hosur Road and extend till Tumkur Road, passing via KR Puram, Bellary Road, Old Madras Road and Sarjapur Road. The project is to take off from near Makali on Benglauru-Pune road and connect with Hosur Road. Mark Jackson Jersey

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