Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today said the Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway would be ready by next year.
On the Bengaluru-Mysuru section, a 52-km of greenfield alignment is also part of the project. The cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore, the minister told reporters.
He said a new greenfield project – Bengaluru to Chennai Expressway at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore – would be ready by March 2024.
“By February 2023, the Bengaluru-Mysuru Highway Project will be completed. I saw some work pending on the stretch. We will invite either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or President Droupadi Murmu,” Mr Gadkari said.
The minister was on a whirlwind tour of Bengaluru and inspected some of the National Highway projects before interacting with journalists.
According to him, the Bengaluru-Mysuru corridor is a 10-lane project wherein four lanes – two lanes on either sides – have been proposd for the villages and towns attached to the highway while six lanes would lead directly to Mysuru from Bengaluru.
The Bengaluru-Mysuru project is divided into two parts – one from Bengaluru to Nidaghatta and another from Nidaghatta to Mysuru, said the minister.
Once the project is over, travel time from Bengaluru to Mysuru would be only 70 minutes, he said.
“Now it is up to the state government to develop cities and regions pass through this route as industrial cluster to decongest Bengaluru,” Mr Gadkari said.
According to him, this highway would give access to Kodagu in Karnataka, Ooty in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.
Regarding the Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, Mr Gadkari said the 285.3-km four-lane project would help save travel time. This would also help avoid delay in passing through major towns and congested areas, he added.
“This Bharatmala project in Karnataka covering 71.7 km will cost Rs 5,069 crore,” Mr Gadkari said.
“By making this road we will reduce the logistic costs. Already, 231 km of construction is underway. By March 2024, we want to complete this project,” he added.
Mr Gadkari said there is a forest land involved in this project and that he has spoken to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai for clearance.
He said an Amrit Mahotsav Bird Sanctuary and an Amrit Sarovar would also come up on this stretch.
The Union Minister, who conducted an aerial survey of the highways, said the Ministry is also working on the Bengaluru Satellite Ring Road at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 crore under the Bharatmala project to decongest Bengaluru.
Mr Gadkari said the project covers 288 km of which 243 km is in Karnataka and 45 km in Tamil Nadu.
“We are linking this satellite ring road with Pune-Bengaluru and eventually we will connect the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Once completed, the journey from Bengaluru to Mumbai will be just six-and-a-half hours to 7 hours,” he added.
A logistic park has also been planned in Bengaluru at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore, said the Minister.
“I noticed during the aerial inspection that the container depots are in the city. I will discuss with the Chief Minister if he can bring container and logistic parks together,” Mr Gadkari said.
All the urban areas of Bengaluru such as Hoskote, Devanahalli, Doddaballapura, Ramanagar, Kanakapura and Anekal in Karnataka and Hosur in Tamil Nadu would be connected with the ring road.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) would also take up the deepening of lakes as part of water conservation, Mr Gadkari said.
Land acquisition is a major challenge before the NHAI due to high land value, he pointed out.
Mr Gadkari said a new road connecting North with the South was being laid.
The new project at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore would link Surat with Nasik, Ahmednagar, Sholapur and Kurnool. From Kurnool, there would be road connectivity to Chennai, Hyderabad, and Thiruvananthapuram.
“This is Surat-Chennai access control expressway and Sholapur-Kurnool Economic Corridor, which will pass through six States – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. The total length is 1,270 km and the project cost is Rs 48,000 crore,” Mr Gadkari explained.
The Sholapur-Kurnool highway is an access control corridor with a length of 340 km and would be built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore. Already, work on 294 km at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore has been sanctioned, the Minister said.
He added that it would help developing districts like Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Raichur in north Karnataka. Also, it would minimise travel distance from 400 km to 340 km.
Mr Gadkari said a new greenfield access control corridor connecting Bengaluru with Vijayawada via Kadapa is also coming up at a cost of Rs 14,000 crore. It would be 342-km-long stretch.
“Bids for 275 km have been invited and the contracts will be awarded by the end of 2023 and the corridor will be open to public by 2025-26,” Mr Gadkari said.
To decongest traffic and reduce pollution in Bengaluru, Mr Gadkari recommended satellite townships along these highways.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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