6 Sep :The UPA Government has given push to all the areas of infrastructure in the country. The Highway sector a vital component of infrastructure has grown phenomenally becoming the most preferred mode of transport. India has a very large road network of over 3.3 million kilometres comprising of 68,354 kms length of National Highways, 1,28,000 kms of State Highways, 4,70,000 kms of Major District Roads and about 26,50,000 kms of rural and other roads.
The Government is committed to all-round development of road network in the country, it has not only taken steps to accelerate the progress of ongoing NHDP, but also has started new programmes in the road sector. Inaugurating the Central Hot Mix Plant at Udhagamandalam in Tamil Nadu today Thiru T.R. Baalu, the Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways said that the installation of the Hot Max Plant would facilitate denser bituminous layered roads with better riding quality in the region.
Referring to various projects initiated by the Central Road Transport and Highways Ministry in Tamil Nadu Thiru Baalu said that the State has received has received the focus of attention of the Central Government in development of National Highways of the 4,508-km length of National Highways in the state 3,261 kms have been taken up by the NHAI for four laning under the National Highways Development Project and other projects. He said that this would increase the level of service of road connectivity to the remote areas with important cities and places of religious, tourist, historical, agricultural and industrial importance and substantially enhance the traffic comfort and safety, save the travel time and fuel consumption. The Golden Quadrilateral length of 342 kms under NHDP Phase-I in Tamil Nadu has also been upgraded to four-lane facility.
Beside this under NHDP Phase-II, i.e., North-South Corridor, 263-km length has been widened to four-lanes, works of four-laning in 15 packages covering 410-km length are in progress and preparation of feasibility report in the remaining 82-km length is under progress. This corridor traversing through Krishnagiri, Salem, Namakkal, Karur, Dindigul, Madurai and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu connects Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border at Hossur with Kanniyakumari. NHDP Phase-III covers 1,455-km length of various National Highways in Tamil Nadu, which are to be upgraded to four lanes on ‘Build, Operate and Transfer’ (BOT) basis. Works in 527-km length in six packages are under implementation. Short listing of contractors for four-laning of NH-205 is in progress. Request for Qualification for 7 Packages in about 660-km length has also been received. The same are under evaluation. Preparation of Detailed Project Report in case of one package for 186-km length is in progress.
Thiru Baalu said that a total length of 1,232 kms in Tamil Nadu has been included under NHDP Phase IV-A for improvement to 2-lane with paved shoulders. Other Projects in Tamil Nadu cover four laning of 422-km length of NH-45 and NH-45B from Chennai to Madurai via Tiruchirapalli, in which, works in 93-km length have already been completed and works in the remaining 329-km length are in progress. Works in two-packages in 77-km length under Port Connectivity between Chennai and Ennore Port and from Tirunelveli to Tuticorin Port are in progress.
Chennai city, which is not only the capital of Tamil Nadu but also the economic hub of South India, has been given due priority in our programme of improvement. Four-laning of Chennai Bypass Phase-I has been completed. Construction of four-lane Chennai Bypass Phase-II is in progress. Improvement of access to the Golden Quadrilateral Corridor by construction of Grade Separators at Kathipara, Koyambedu, Padi and Chennai Airport, including four-laning of Koyembedu-Maduravoyal Section of NH-4 within Chennai City has been taken up by my Ministry and the work is in progress.
Thiru Baalu expressed the hope that the Engineers and Contractors executing the works with this Hot Mix Plant would make all efforts to execute the work with strict quality control whcih would ensure world class road infrastructure enabling fast and safe movement of traffic.