Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has cleared 18 road projects for execution, aiming to double 664 km length of single lane national highways at an estimated cost of Rs. 1259 crore.

The projects are part of the 82 schemes not included under any other National Highway Development Programme seeking to widen single lane national highways across the country through a corridor approach. The NHAI has cleared the detailed project reports (DPRs) of these projects, seven of which fall in Orissa, three each in West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and two in Himachal Pradesh.

They are expected to be constructed in about 30 months. Highways Minister Kamal Nath has had several rounds of talks with the World Bank to take up at least 33 projects, covering 3,800 km of road length for doubling. World Bank teams are expected here next month to finalise the deal in the current fiscal year itself. The NHAI is in the process of approving DPRs of 17 other projects of doubling single lane national highways soon before taking up the other projects.