All road works in the state should be completed within the next 6-7 months, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy directed the Public Works Department (PWD) on Tuesday.
The government, in its last two budgets, has earmarked Rs 21,000 crore for road works. Reviewing the PWD, Kumaraswamy said that the state highway works should be fast-tracked and that Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar would monitor progress every month. “Land acquisition for the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway is 90% complete. Any bottlenecks should be cleared soon,” he told officials.
Over the last five years, the government has spent about Rs 49,000 crore on road works. “Going forward, a blueprint for road development should be prepared for every Assembly constituency,” Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara said.
Kumaraswamy’s brother, PWD Minister H D Revanna said in-principle approval had been granted to upgrade 6,433 km of state highways as national highways. About 405 km of new national highways have been announced, he added.
Kumaraswamy also reviewed the progress of the ‘Shala Samparka Setu’ scheme under which the government wants to build short bridges to provide a safe passage for children to access schools. The scheme was formulated after a school girl got washed away while she was crossing a stream in Tirthahalli in Shivamogga district last year.
The government has commissioned construction of 1,508 bridges at a cost of
Rs 187.04 crore. So far, 963 bridge works have been completed. He directed officials to complete the remaining works in the next 2-3 months.
During the review, Kumaraswamy interacted with schoolchildren from Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga and Uttara Kannada districts. Schoolchildren from Tirthahalli poured their heart out while highlighting their daily woes in reaching their far-off school. They asked the chief minister to look into transport and hostel facilities for students. Further, they requested him to stay at their school as part of his Grama Vastavya programme, to which the chief minister gave a positive assurance.