A Brief about the road
The Bangalore – Mysore Expressway being built by NICE (Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise) has been a subject of many controversies for almost a decade. After a change in the state government a year ago, NICE managed to get past the official hurdles and make some progress with road construction. The project includes building a peripheral road around the city, connecting all the highways with Bangalore – Mysore expressway. The peripheral road is nearly complete, and is already in use. NICE collects a toll to use the road.
I was driving back to town from Hassan on a weekday evening. I live in South Bangalore (JP Nagar) and was entering the city from the opposite direction. The thought of having to get into the city and wade through evening traffic was bothering me. I vaguely recalled a friend mentioning that NICE road is an alternate option. On spotting a sign, I decided to take it. If I had driven through the city from this place, it would have been nearly 25km to my place. Considering the peak hour traffic, it would have taken 2 to 2.5 hours get home.
I entered the road at 7.10pm after paying a toll of Rs.50. It is built as a freeway with no signals, and has flyovers for the crossing traffic wherever necessary. The road is is a smooth road with no obstructions, no humps or such obstacles anywhere on the way. Entire stretch of the road is fenced. There is a dividing lane in the center almost 10m wide, ensuring that you are not troubled by the head lights from the oncoming traffic.
Being new to the road, I did not exceed 80kmph and drove at uniform speed, but it is safe to drive at three-figure speeds. My exit at Kanakapura Road was 25km away, and it was 7.30pm when I reached there. I was at home by 7.45pm.
I saved anything between 90 to 120 minutes by taking NICE road. Besides the saving in time, I also did not have to wade through painful peak hour traffic. The road is safer than it’s alternate options, but it did come with some surprises. I saw a few men walking on the service road in two occasions (which is not that bad), and also encountered a car trying to go in the wrong direction (which can be fatal)!
At Rs.2 per kilometer, it is 3 to 4 times more expensive than Bangalore – Tumkur highway. But for someone who takes the road once in a while to go across the city, it is worth that money for all the time and effort saved. If I were to drive to Mysore regularly when the road is ready, considering that there already is a good road to Mysore, I may not think of paying so much toll very often.