Monday, March 9, 2015

Confusion reigns as boards display old highway numbers

VISAKHAPATNAM: Befuddling tourists and visitors to the state travelling by road, several signboards on the national highway (NH) passing through the three north coastal Andhra districts still display the old number (NH-5) instead of the revised one (NH-16). The Centre, through a gazette notification, had re-numbered all the national highways three years ago, but the changes are yet to be carried out on most signboards. 

Taking the cyber route to sort out the number confusion is of no help either, what with the website of National Highway Authority of India ( itself showing the Kolkata-Chennai national highway to be still NH-5 instead of NH-16. 

"The NH-5 was renumbered as NH-16, but when I travel along the road I come across several signboards with the old number. This confuses me," said K Srinivas, a B Tech student at a college in Tagarapuvalasa. The NH-16 runs along the country's East Coast from Kolkata to Chennai and passes through the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, also going through Visakhapatnam city.

Signboards at many places along the 350 km stretch of the NH-16 from Icchapuram in Srikakulam district to Payakaraopeta in Visakhapatnam district still announce it as NH-5. The highway connects areas such as Sompeta, Tekkali, Narasannapeta, Srikakulam and Ranasthalam in Srikakulam district, Poosapatirega and Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district, and Tagarapuvalasa, Visakhapatnam City, Anakapalle, Yelamanchili and Payakaraopeta in Visakhapatnam district. 

NHAI project director V K Vijaya Sri admitted that some signboards still showed the old number. "We will replace them soon," Vijaya Sri told TOI. "Even officials and politicians do seem to know the new status of the national highway," said a research scholar of Andhra University. "One can easily spot many signboards with the wrong number along the 26 km stretch of the highway in the middle of the city from Hanumanthawaka Junction to Kurmannapalem Junction," he said. Even some websites, including Wikipedia, give the wrong information, he said. TOI found that Wikipedia on Monday showed NH-5 as the national highway between Kolkata and Chennai.


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