The standing committee on finance for the Ministry of Road Transport and National Highways (MoRTH) has approved a two-storied cable bridge across the river Krishna at Somasila to connect Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, realising the 15-year-old wish of people on either side of the river.
The new bridge with four-lane carriageway to be taken up at an estimated cost of about ₹1,100 crore is set to reduce the travel distance between Hyderabad and Tirupati by 90 km via Nandyal, avoiding going round Kurnool. It will also reduce the travel distance between Hyderabad and Kadapa and Chittoor.
According to officials, the new bridge will put an end to the woes of people in Kollapur (Nagarkurnool) area travelling to AP as they had no other option but to take risky boat journey to cross the Krishna river and enter AP for their onward journey to pilgrimage centres such as Mahanandi, Ahobilam, Tirupati, Srikalahasthi, Kanipakam and others as well as places such as Atmakur, Nandyal, Allagadda, Kadapa, Chittoor and others in less time compared to road travel via Kurnool.
A boat capsize incident that took place in 2007 had made over 60 passengers meet watery grave. The demand for a bridge linking Kollapur (TS) and Atmakur (AP) has gained support since that accident but it did not progress beyond proposals. However, the approval for the bridge under Bharatmala Pariyojana project by the standing committee at its meeting on Thursday came close to realising the dream of people of the areas on either side of the river.
The cable bridge across the mighty Krishna would be of 3-km length connecting Somasila near Kallapur in Telangana with Siddeshwaram of Kothapalli mandal in Srisailam constituency in AP. The new bridge is also expected to develop tourism in the area and the tenders for the construction of the bride and 170 km four-lane highway on either side of the river are likely to be finalised over the next few weeks.
The MoRTH has already recognised 170-km-long road between Kalwakurthy-Nagarkurnool-Kollapur in Telangana and Atmakur-Nandayl in AP as a national highway. The work is expected to be completed in two years.
Officials of the Roads and Building Department stated that the committee on finance of the MoRTH has also cleared construction of 33 km highway between Adilabad and Bela (₹491 crore), 38 km between Khammam and Kuravi (₹446 crore) and 52 km between Yellareddy and Rudrur (₹500) crore.
Bridging the Distance
The upper deck of the cable bridge to have four-lane main carriage way
Lower (pedestrian) deck to enable tourists take a walk watching the flow of the river, viewing the scenic beauty around
The lower deck is also likely to have an 800-meter long glass deck (path) as a special attraction for tourists
The new NH 167-K covering the cable bridge runs for 173.7 km from Kotra junction in Veldanda mandal of Nagarkurnool district to Nandyal
It covers Kalwakurthy, Nagarkurnool, Kollapur, Somasila, Malleshwaram, in Telangana and Sangameshwaram, Siddeshwaram, Atmakur, Nandyal in AP