Bengaluru-Chennai expressway to be ready by this year: Gadkari

The minister was speaking after laying the foundation stone for 18 national highway projects.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 15:12 IST

Shivamogga: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari exuded confidence that the works on Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway and ring road that connects towns around Bengaluru are expected to be completed by December 2024.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for 18 national highway projects of total length 300 km worth Rs 6,200 crore covering seven districts- Shivamogga, Ballari, Chitradurga, Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada and inaugurating 296.92 km length national highway projects at Nehru Stadium in a programme jointly organised by National Highways Authority of India, Public Works Department and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, here on Thursday.

He said, the completion of Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway project would reduce the journey hours between the two cities to two hours. With this, two IT hubs of the country would get connected and it would also pave the way for many multinational companies and industries. 

He said, the work on highways worth Rs 3 lakh crore is in progress in Karnataka. The works of new projects worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore are expected to begin soon. He also appealed to Public Works Department Minister Saitsh Jarkiholi, who was present on the dais, to clear the issues including land acquisition and Forest Department hurdles so that the projects could be completed in time. 

He said, the widening of Tumakuru-Shivamogga stretch of NH-206 is expected to be completed by January 2025. He also directed the officials of National Highways Authority to inspect Agumbe Ghat Road that connects Shivamogga and Udupi districts and submit a feasible report on the construction of the tunnel.

Referring to Mysuru-Wayanad NH212, he said, the movement of vehicles on this stretch from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am has been banned due to the presence of Bandipur National Park and to ensure the safety of wild animals. So, for the benefit of people, an alternative road connecting Mysuru-Malappuram is being developed at a cost of Rs 2,500 crore, he said.

He said, it has been planned to construct 17 ropeways in Karnataka. He sanctioned a ropeway between Kollur of Udupi district and Kodachadri of Shivamogga district and at Anjanadri Hill in Koppal district. He also approved the widening of Byndoor-Ranebennur and Sagar-Marakutuka. 

He said, the price of ethanol is less when compared to petrol and diesel. Green hydrogen and electric vehicles are the future of the country. There is ample scope for the production of ethanol in the district.  Sugar factories too can produce it. The State government must encourage the production of ethanol and thus transform Karnataka into a hub of biofuel, he said. 

Terming farmers as producers of fuel, he said, they are the producers of ethanol and airplane fuel. So, henceforth, they are not only producers of food, and employment but also energy, he said.

He said, the ministry is going through the proposals of 17 major projects sent by Karnataka and they would be approved soon. There is a plan to connect Kashmir with Kanyakumari and thus reduce the journey hours to a great extent. 

Shivamogga MP B Y Raghavendra, Ballari MP Devendrappa, Public Works Department Minister Satish Jarkiholi, MLAs S N Channabasappa, Araga Jnanendra, Deputy Commissioner Gurudatta Hegde, Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Snehal Sudhakar Lokhande, Superintendent of Police G K Mithun Kumar, MLC S Rudre Gouda and others were present.

(Published 22 February 2024, 15:12 IST)

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