Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the Kanaka Durga flyover here on Saturday.
The project is estimated to cost Rs. 447 crore. The Benz Circle flyover will be taken up as part of the four-laning of the Vijayawada-Machilipatnam highway project.
Putting an end to demands from various quarters to name the flyover after Kapu leader V.M. Ranga, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said the flyover would be known as ‘Kanaka Durga flyover’. “Though the Centre has to do it, I take the liberty and name it Kanaka Durga flyover,” he said.
Earlier, MLC Buddha Venkanna suggested that the flyover be named ‘Chandrababu Naidu Flyover’. Various organisations and Congress leaders have been demanding to name it after V.M. Ranga.
Lauding Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas (Nani), the Mr. Gadkari said the MP had made umpteen visits to his ministry to see that the project saw the light of day.
“The flyover proposal had been put on hold owing to local political reasons all these years. But, your MP played an active role,” he said.
Mr. Naidu recalled that he had organised a ‘maha dharna’ demanding the construction of the flyover in June 2012.
“The State government spent Rs. 133 crore on land acquisition and shifting of utilities. All the works were completed in a record time of 20 days,” he added.
The flyover is expected to ease traffic congestion near Indrakeeladri.
The bottleneck at the foot of the hill causes frequent traffic jams on the national highway beyond Bhavanipuram. The traffic problem worsens during festival season. The flyover was mooted as a solution for the mounting traffic woes.
The Chief Minister said the flyover will extend from Bhavanipuram to Rajiv Gandhi Park near the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC). Besides, the existing road will be widened to six-lanes.
The option of constructing a flyover from Bhavanipuram to the Krishna Lanka fire station over Prakasam Barrage had its demerits, as it was expensive and required clearances from the irrigation and railway authorities.
Meanwhile, the stretch of the national highway between Bhavanipuram and Varadhi Junction connecting NH-9 with NH-5 had been transferred to the State from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The proposal was hanging in a limbo and had become an issue between political parties.
TDP and Congress leaders were engaged in a war of words over the issue. Vijayawada former MP Lagadapati Rajagopal had opposed the flyover.