The National Highways Authority of India is likely to take up four new projects this year for four-laning of highways of a total length of 412 km in Rajasthan at an investment of Rs.3,815 crore. The proposed segments are Beawar-Pali and Pali-Pindwara sections on National Highway No.14, Reengus-Sikar section on National Highway-11 and Deoli-Kota section on National Highway-12.

According to Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Mahadeo Singh Khandela, the new projects would be besides the three ongoing projects -- six-laning of Kishengarh-Beawar section of National Highway-8, four-laning of Jaipur-Reengus section of National Highway-11 and four-laning of Jaipur-Tonk Deoli section of National Highway-12.

“Once complete, these highways, altogether measuring 295 km, will be of world-class quality,” Mr. Kandela asserted. The total investment on these three projects would be Rs.1,855 crore.

Mr. Khandela was here to review the progress of ongoing construction of highways in the State and to discuss their maintenance and needs of inter-State connectivity and roads joining places of economic importance.

Talking about new projects, Mr. Khandela said there was a proposal to take up three projects to convert State Highways into National Highways. They are: Jaipur-Jobner-Kuchaman-Phalodi; Bharatpur-Alwar-Kotputli-Reengus-Sikar-Salasar; and Mandalgarh-Bhilwara-Desuri-Jalore-Bamer. A consultant for the proposed ring road for Jaipur also has been appointed, he said.

Responding to a question, Mr. Khandela said work on the Kota-Udaipur section, held up after the collapse of an under-construction bridge near Kota this past December 24, would be resumed in March. The inquiry report would be ready by then and the National Highways Authority of India implementing the project would resume the work whatever the findings, he said. The accident had resulted in the death of 48 persons, mostly labourers who got trapped under steel and concrete.

The Central Roads Fund under the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved for the current year 679 km of roads in Rajasthan at a cost of Rs.331.72 crore. The Ministry is in the process of approving an additional 361 km at a cost of Rs.178.52 crores under CRF, Mr. Khandela informed.

Along with the projects under consideration the total roads approved under the Central Roads Fund for Rajasthan would be 1,040 km. Besides, an amount of Rs.82.47 crore has been approved for inter-State connectivity and another Rs.29.96 crore for roads connecting places of economic importance.