Nearly 65 per cent of the upgrading of the 139-km long inter-State highway connecting Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, passing through Gulbarga district, has been completed, according to sources.
The remaining portion is likely to be completed well before the deadline of December 2012.
The Government awarded the work on Build-Own-Operate-and Transfer (BOOT) model to a Hyderabad-based consortium for Rs. 240 crore.
Sixty-two per cent of the cost is being borne by the contractor, 20 per cent by the Union Government, and 18 per cent by the State Government.
Official sources told The Hindu that the Government and the consortium were in the final stages of reaching an agreement on toll rates for vehicles .
According to sources, the final black-topping has been completed up to 95 km of the total road length. As per the contractual agreement, the consortium would be allowed to own and operate the road for 28 years and the maintenance would be looked after by the contractor.
The work in the remaining length had been hastened along with the remodelling of small bridges. However, the Government had not cleared the proposal for construction of a new bridge across the Kagina near the Uttaridi Math in Malkhed. During monsoon, the bridge gets submerged and the traffic is disrupted.
Sharanprakash Patil, Sedam MLA, had proposed the construction of a new bridge across the river and Public Works Minister C.M. Udasi had given consent for that.
He asked the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Ltd. (KRDCL) to submit a proposal to the Government.
The KRDCL had proposed a new bridge costing Rs. 50 crore, but it has not been approved.