Government sanctions four national highway projects worth Rs 4,500 crore

The government has sanctioned four road infrastructure projects worth Rs 4,518.04 crore, including two highways under the Bharatmala project, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

The approved projects relate to the construction, widening and upgrading of national highways in Assam, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The four-lane construction of NH-71 from Madanapalle to Pileru in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh under Bharatmala Pariyojna has been sanctioned with a budget of Rs 1,852.12 crore, said Minister of Road Transport and Highways in a post on social media.

Last week, Gadkari had met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to review the status of national highway projects in the state.

Gadkari also announced the construction of a 6-lane, controlled-access section of NH-150C highway between Karnataka and Telangana at an estimated cost of Rs 972.06 crore. In October, the National Highways Authority of India launched a tender for the project as part of the Solapur-Kurnool-Chennai Economic Corridor.

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The Bharatmala Project is an umbrella program of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, designed to optimize freight and passenger traffic across the country. In the first phase, the government intends to complete the development of 34,800 km of economic corridors, port connectivity roads, and border and international connectivity roads, among others.

The government, up to December, had awarded projects worth Rs 5.60 trillion under the first phase of the Bharatmala project. The awarded projects cover 19,265 km, while the development of 6,750 km of projects has been completed, Gadkari told Rajya Sabha in a written response in December.

The government has also sanctioned two national highway projects worth Rs 1,694 crore in Assam which include construction of four lanes and upgrading of NH-127B at an estimated cost of Rs 1,522.91 crore rupees.

At a public event in Manipur on Monday, Gadkari said the government is committed to developing road infrastructure in the northeast. He said several of the projects that were announced earlier would be awarded within the next three months.

The government, in the Union budget for 2022-2023, has set an ambitious target to extend the national road network by 25,000 km in the financial year. The budget allocation for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been increased by 68% to Rs 1.99 trillion.

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