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Six road projects sanctioned for State

By Our Staff Reporter



The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh (right), and the Minister for Transport, M. Mallikarjuna Kharge (second from right), greeting the Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, T.R. Baalu (third from right), in Bangalore on Monday. Th e Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, K.H. Muniyappa (left), is seen. — Photo: K. Gopinathan

BANGALORE, SEPT. 27. The Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, T.R. Baalu, has announced the sanctioning of six road projects for the State. He was speaking to presspersons here on Monday after a two-day tour and inspection of the places around Bangalore that needed connectivity with neighbouring States. The officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) accompanied him on the tour.

Mr. Baalu is visiting various States to study the impediments in implementing highway development works and find solutions to them. In Bangalore, he had an interaction with the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, other Ministers and the State officials on the road projects. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Corporation, and representatives of Infosys Technologies attended the meeting. Mr. Baalu said the officials of his ministry had been given the green signal to go ahead with the works sanctioned for the State.

Superstructure

Prominent among the projects announced by Mr. Baalu is the 9-km elevated superstructure on National Highway no. 7 (Hosur Road) to facilitate easy movement of traffic between Bangalore and Electronics City. The project is estimated at Rs. 400 crores. A special vehicle will be introduced for the novel transport system, and the information-technology majors and others have agreed to grant 33.33 per cent of the funds. The rest would be met by the NHAI and the State Government.

Mr. Baalu said he had agreed to take up the widening of a 74-km. stretch of National Highway no. 17 to four lanes at a cost of Rs. 500 crores. The others works sanctioned were widening of the 85- km Bangalore-Kolar road (National Highway no. 4) up to Mulbagal (the 10-km Krishnarajapuram-Hoskote stretch to six lanes and the 55-km Hoskote-Mulbagal stretch to four lanes at a cost of Rs. 400 crores) and the 157-km stretch of National Highway no. 48 from Nelamangala to Hassan to four lanes at a cost of Rs. 620 crores.

Negligence

The Minister said the IT majors were concerned about what they perceived to be negligence of the sector in the provision of infrastructure. Both the sides discussed the long-pending projects and problems such as those related to land acquisition were sorted out

He said the development of 304 km of the 2,919 km of National highways was taken up this year and 33 works, estimated at Rs. 68 crores, were in progress. The 84-km stretch from Belgaum to Goa had been identified for improving connectivity. Similarly, the work, estimated at Rs. 13.75 crores, on the Kollegal-Koratagere road was in progress.

Sethusamudram project

Mr. Baalu, who has already visited Assam, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, said that with regard to the Sethusamudram broject in Tamil Nadu, a high-level committee comprising officials of the Centre, the Tamil Nadu Government and the Dredging Corporation of India was now looking into environmental issues. The Rs. 2,000-crore project, approved by the Planning Commission and the Union Cabinet, would again go back to the latter for further discussions.

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