7 Sep :Union Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Thiru T.R Baalu today inaugurated the Viralimalai Bypass on NH-45B in Tamil Nadu. Expressing satisfaction over the pace of various phases of National Highways Development Projects (NHDP), he said the Central 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 has also started new programmes in the road sector.
Referring to various projects initiated by the Central Road Transport and Highways Ministry in Tamil Nadu, Thiru Baalu said that the State 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 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 also 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. 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.
The revised programme entail massive unprecedented investments to the tune of about Rs. 2,35,690 crore. Improvement of 5,691-km length has been completed under Golden Quadrilateral out of total length of 5,846 kms, and the works are in progress in the remaining length of 155 kms. Under the North-South and East-West Corridors, works have been completed in 2,696-km length out of the total length of 7,142 kms and the works are under implementation in 3,625-km length. Under NHDP Phase-III, 4-laning of 520 kms have been completed out of 12,109 kms length and works are in progress in about 1,555-km length. Works of 6-laning are in progress in about 1,009-km length out of total length 6,500 kms under NHDP Phase-V. The Government has also accorded approvals for construction of 1,000 kms of Expressways under NHDP Phase-VI and construction of Ring Roads, Flyovers and Bypasses in selected stretches under NHDP Phase-VII. These projects are targeted to be completed by 2015. With this enhanced scope, the Government wants to increase the private participation to a significant extent. As a policy decision taken by the Government, all the future projects under NHDP will be taken up primarily on the Public-Private Partnership pattern. Further, to encourage private sector participation, the Government has taken several initiatives, Thiru Baalu added.
Apart from the NHDP, there is also the programme for development of road network in the North-Eastern region of this country under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North-East Region, having the acronym SARDP-NE. This is being taken up mainly to provide connectivity to all the State Capitals and District Headquarters in the North-East Region. This programme is being implemented through the State Public Works Departments, Border Roads Organisation and the National Highways Authority of India. This envisages improvement of 8,737 kms of roads, which includes 3,846 kms of National Highways, 4,891 kms of State roads and roads of strategic importance. Under Phase A of SARDP-NE, improvement of 2,454-km length of roads including 150-km length of four-lane road connectivity to Itanagar are being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs.15,943 crores, including component of Rs.4,823 crores from the Gross Budgetary Support. SARDP-NE Phase-A is targeted for completion by 2012-13. It is envisaged that the entire programme would be completed by 2015-16. There is a proposal to construct Trans-Arunachal Highways in a length of about 1,567 kms, the Minister said.
The 4-km long Viralimalai bypass on NH-45B in Tamil Nadu has been constructed on left hand side of the existing alignment with one grade separator over Viralimalai- Iluppur-Pudukottai road crossing. five pipe culverts and three box culverts have been provided in the Bypass to cater to the cross drainage works. This Bypass will facilitate safe movement of traffic with higher speed. There will be overall augmentation in the facility, including safety and lesser travel time. It is also likely to avoid submergence during high floods as experienced in the recent past. The total cost of the Bypass, located on the Trichy-Melur-Madurai Section of NH-45B and passing through Tiruchirapalli, Pudukkottai, Sivaganga and Madurai Districts, is about Rs.20 crore. This stretch was a major district road prior to upgradation as a National Highway with inherent deficiencies in geometrics. Four-laning and strengthening of the existing 2-lane in this stretch along with the construction of 6 more Bypasses has been undertaken in 124.84-km long Trichy-Melur-Madurai section of NH-45B at a total cost of Rs.420 crores. The improvement of the section would considerably augment the transportation facility as well as riding comfort.