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New corridor: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa inaugurating the elevated expressway to Electronics City in Bangalore on Friday.
New corridor: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa inaugurating the elevated expressway to Electronics City in Bangalore on Friday.

Special Correspondent

Centre promises Karnataka Rs. 18,000 crore over next four years

BANGALORE: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath on Friday announced that the Centre would take up road development projects worth Rs. 18,000 crore over the next four years in Karnataka in a bid to bridge its infrastructure deficit.

The Minister made the announcement at a public function organised by the National Highways Authority of India to inaugurate the 10-lane mixed corridor, which includes a four-lane elevated expressway linking the 9.9-km stretch between the Silk Board junction and Electronics City. This access-controlled expressway, the longest elevated corridor in the country, has been built at a cost of about Rs.750 crore.

Later, addressing a press conference, Mr. Kamal Nath said the UPA Government would lay special emphasis on infrastructure development in Karnataka, especially Bangalore. The projects to be taken up under the Rs. 18,000-crore grant include 18 major works to develop 1,869 km of roads at a cost of Rs. 11,750 crore in the next two years, works to the tune of Rs. 1,950 crore to be taken up under the special category and some other works entailing a cost of Rs. 485 crore under the Calamity Relief Fund.

The Minister announced that the Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared the development of the 22-km stretch between Hebbal and Devanahalli at a cost of Rs. 750 crore. The project would be put on the fast track to ensure early completion.

The 15-km stretch on National Highway 234 linking Madhugiri and Gauribidanur will be upgraded at a cost of Rs. 16 crore. Similarly, the stretch between Nelamangala and Doddaballapur linking Nandi Hills will also be upgraded. The Minister said the Union Government would sign an MoU with Malaysia for technical consultation and road development in the country. He responded positively to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s request to hold a meeting in Bangalore to review the progress of national highway projects being taken up in Karnataka. “I will dedicate an entire day to conduct such a review,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Yeddyurappa sought a special Rs. 1,000-crore grant over the next two years to rebuild flood-ravaged roads in north Karnataka.

Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said the Union Cabinet had cleared a proposal to invite tenders to strengthen the Shiradi Ghat stretch at a cost of Rs. 110 crore. It has also approved electrification of the Shoranur- Mangalore- Panambur railway line.

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