Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Saturday that his ministry will invest about Rs 1.16 lakh crore in Karnataka over the next couple of years even as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa urged him to expedite some ongoing projects.
Gadkari was speaking after laying the foundation stone for 25 National Highway projects worth Rs 5,459 crore covering 552 km length in what was a virtual event.
The union minister said 19 works costing Rs 31,035 crore under Bharatmala and other schemes were under progress. “Keeping in view the safety of road users, three works to provide protective measures on hill slopes in Shiradi Ghat on NH 75, Charmadi Ghat on NH 73 and Sampaje Ghat on NH 275 have been sanctioned amounting to Rs 115 crore,” Gadkari said, according to a release from the chief minister’s office.
A detailed project report (DPR) was approved for the construction of a tunnel for Shiradi Ghat for a length of 23.60 km with a tentative cost of Rs 10,000 crore after it was vetted by the Indian Institute of Science, Gadkari said. “Bid document, statutory clearances and land acquisition plans are under progress,” he said.
The final feasibility report on setting up a multimodal logistics park at Muddalingenahali near Dabaspet is expected in February 2021, he said, adding that this project would improve efficiency and reduce logistics cost.
Also, three projects spanning 76 km in the Bengaluru-Chennai expressway were approved, he pointed out.
Speaking on the occasion, Yediyurappa asked Gadkari to expedite the improvement of all congested NH intersections connecting Bengaluru city. He also sought fast-tracking of upgrading the existing 4-lane NH from Bengaluru to Tumakuru section to an 8-lane with service road.
“I will direct all deputy commissioners to ensure speedy disposal of pending cases regarding land acquisitions to speed-up highway projects,” Yediyurappa said.
Ethanol policy soon
Gadkari said the Centre would soon come out with an Ethanol Policy to benefit farmers, especially sugarcane and paddy growers. "The government is very well aware of the plight of sugarcane growers and paddy growers. Sugar and rice production are surplus in the country and therefore, the Government of India intends to encourage production of ethanol from sugarcane and rice to support the farmers," he said.