'Centre agrees to upgrade Theerthahalli-Malpe road'

Public Works Minister H C Mahadevappa said the Centre has agreed to upgrade Theerthahalli-Malpe road into a national highway.Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, he said around 116-km stretch between Theerthahalli and Malpe (Udupi district) via Agumbe ghat will be upgraded and named it as national highway.

The width of the existing road is 5.5 metre and it will be widened to 10 metre. Besides, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 95 crore for the development of the Shiradi Ghat stretch of Bangalore-Mangalore national highway. The State government will obtain environment clearance from the ministry concerned before beginning the work, he added. 

Referring to the upgradation of roads in the State, he said around 100-km stretch between Shimoga and Chitradurga on NH-13 will be upgraded into two-lane at a cost of Rs 324 crore. Besides, around 200-km stretch between Shimoga and Tumkur on NH-206 will be converted into four-lane at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore. Both the projects will be implemented under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC).

He also stated that the department has decided to develop 13,000 km roads under State Highways Development Project in phase-wise. As many as Rs 2,600 crore has been earmarked in the budget for the purpose. Tender process is completed and work order has been issued.

Furnishing details about the road connectivity in the State, he said as many as 4,000-km roads come under the purview of national highways, 20,000-km of State highways and around 50,000-km of district main roads are there in the State. Of it, around 5,000-km roads will be developed under State Highways Development Scheme.  
    
He said in order to complete the road development works within the stipulated time, the government has decided to provide 50% of grants against the earlier 15% to the contractors even before the commencement of the works. The move of the government is likely to play key role in completing the works in time.   

Special Component Plan

He claimed that Karnataka is one of the pioneer States in the implementation of Special Component Plan for the Integrated Development of Scheduled Castes. Special Component Plan is an  integral part of the planning process intended to ensure the rapid socio-economic development of Scheduled Castes.

The  Siddaramaiah-led government had earmarked Rs 8,000 crore in the budget last year and it has been hiked to Rs 15,300 crore in this year’s budget. The funds should be utilised for the upliftment of SC without fail. There is no scope for diversion, negligence in this regard.

All the development departments have to earmark 15% of their total budget allocation for the welfare of SC people. This a revolutionary legislation brought out under the leadership of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Most of the States have not implemented the scheme yet, he added. 

Shimoga Urban MLA K B Prasanna Kumar, City Corporation Mayor Khurshida Banu and others were present on the occasion.  

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