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`Mixed corridor is a symbol of what Bangalore has come to represent'

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FOR A BETTER TOMORROW: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu (centre), and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at the function to lay the foundation stone for the mixed corridor project, in Bangalore on Saturday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash
FOR A BETTER TOMORROW: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu (centre), and Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at the function to lay the foundation stone for the mixed corridor project, in Bangalore on Saturday. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Staff Reporter

Manmohan Singh lays foundation stone for the Rs. 450-crore 10-lane project

The Prime Minister calls the project the latest milestone in `road revolution' `Bangalore's IT sector must share the credit for city's emergence as a global brand'

BANGALORE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the Rs. 450-crore 9.9-km 10-lane mixed corridor to Electronics City on National Highway 7 here, undertaken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), calling it the latest milestone in the "road revolution" that India is now witnessing.

Dream

Dr. Singh, who shared his dream of an India "in which everyone can move along the same highway", said the corridor to Electronics City was a symbol of what Bangalore had come to represent. "You are on the highway of rapid progress in our country, while many other regions continue to remain behind. It is through your success, hard work, creativity and enterprise that you inspire all of us," he added.

In a bid to dispel the false notion that development was a question of conflict between city and village, Dr. Singh listed several initiatives of the Union Government to provide world-class road connectivity around Bangalore. That demonstrated its intent to harness development of industry and knowledge economy for the benefit of both town and country. These include converting the Bangalore-Nelamangala stretch of NH 4 into six lanes with a four-km elevated corridor. The Devanahalli section of NH 7 was being converted into four lanes, and partially six lanes. The Bangalore-Kolar section of NH 4 was being converted into four lanes. The United Progressive Alliance Government had speeded up the construction and development of national highways. The programme had been expanded and funding steeply increased.

Road programme

"We now have a road programme under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) estimated at Rs. 2,20,000 crore to be completed in the next seven to eight years," Dr. Singh said. Dr. Singh said the NHDP had expanded from two phases to seven, covering most parts of the country. NHDP III, with investment of Rs. 55,000 crore, would see improved networking of 11,000 km of high-density highways connecting State capitals and important centres of tourism and economic activity. The most significant feature of these projects was that they were being developed largely through a public-private partnership mode, he added.

Urging the NHAI to function as a corporate organisation with a focus on efficiency, competence, transparency and above all, "customer satisfaction", he said work on Golden Quadrilateral, improving 20,000 km of two-lane highways, developing 1000 km of access controlled expressways, bypasses and ring roads in and around important cities, were in the pipeline.

Dr. Singh wanted Bangalore's IT sector to share the credit for the city's emergence as a global brand.

"People know more about Bangalore than about India. You have become the symbol of a new India, an India on the move, rising to fulfil its destiny on the global stage," he said.

Success

The success of the IT revolution in Karnataka was not an isolated success of a few people who worked behind walls and inside air-conditioned rooms. The success had been made possible by the toil and commitment of millions of people. Investors from all over the world came to Bangalore, because Kannadigas were so gracious, so gentle, so talented and forward looking," he said.

Governor T.N. Chaturvedi, Chief Minister. H.D. Kumaraswamy, Union Minister for Highways, Road Transport and Shipping T.R. Baalu, Union Minister of State for Road Transport K.H. Muniyappa, and former Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh were present.

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