• Union govt to give Rs. 97,000 crore for state highways

    The NDA government has decided to spend Rs. 97,000 crore over the next three years on the state’s national highways, which includes adding new ones. The state government plans to increase the length of national highways passing through the state to 19,000 km from the existing 7,500 km, PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil said on Thursday.

    Tenders for all road contracts will be issued by December 2016 and the first instalment of Rs. 10,000 crore will be disbursed by March 2017, sources in the state Public Works Department (PWD) said, adding the rest of the amount will be sanctioned in two instalments.

    The decision was taken in a meeting held on Thursday that was attended by Mr. Patil and officials from the state and the central governments. The official announcement is likely to be made on Monday.

    Of the total funds to be allocated for the state, around Rs. 50,000 crore will be spent on building new highways and the rest will be for repairing existing ones, which includes upgrading state highways to national highways.

    “The centre is keen on improving road conditions in the state, which will lead to better connectivity between cities. The government’s focus is on adding more highways in the state, and money required for the projects will be provided by the Centre,” a PWD official said.

    At present, over 15 new national highway projects are under construction, for which around Rs. 7,000 crore have already been allocated. These projects include the second phase of the Pune-Solapur highway, six lanes of the Pune-Satara highway, the one connecting Solapur to the Karnataka border, four lanes of the Solapur-Yedshi highway and the Panvel-Indapur stretch on the Goa highway, six lanes of the Pimpalgaon-Nasik-Gode highway, four lanes of the Khed-Sinnar and Yedshi-Aurangabad highways, the Nagpur-Kondoli and Nagpur-Betul highways among others.

    The government has also decided to change the contractor for the Panvel-Indapur stretch on the Goa highway. According to sources, the Centre has agreed to extend Rs. 700 crore to the new contractor and the road will have toll booth.

    The pending road construction between Pune-Satara will now be given priority as PWD minister himself has decided to visit areas which are facing problems. “The minister, along with the district collector and police authorities, will be visiting local people to sort out their problems. The work has been pending for years and needs to be completed soon as per the directions from the centre,” the official said.

    Last year, around 11 projects were declared as national highways including the ones connecting Vadkhal to Alibaug, Duggipar to Gondia, Shewali to Gujarat border, Muramgava to Karanji, Sarad to Pimpalgaon, Malkapur to Aurangabad, Savner to Gaundkhairi, Nagpur to Armori, Sakoli to Sironcha, Umred to Warora and Butibori to Wardha.

    At present, over

    15 new national highway projects are under construction Cameron Artis-Payne Womens Jersey

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