Sunday, June 25, 2006

`Let urban, rural India take same highway'

`Let urban, rural India take same highway'
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that cities and villages must move along the same highway to progress so that the millions of “toiling'' farmers could become partners in development.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone for a 10-lane mixedcorridor on Bangalore-Hosur section of the NH7, including an elevated expressway from Central Silk Board to Electronic City.

Singh said that no country can develop if its villages do not develop. ”When we seek development of our people, when we seek to build an industrialised country, when we seek to create a knowledge economy - all of us must benefit both town and country,'' he said. The roads and highways are the means to achieving it, he affirmed.

Singh gave an outline of the initiatives planned by the centre to provide world-class road connectivity around Bangalore. The Government has taken up six-laning of Bangalore-Nelamangala highway, four-laning of Bangalore-Devanahalli section and Bangalore-Kolar stretch, he said. The Government has speeded up development of national highways with a programme under the National Highway Development Project (NHDP) at a cost of Rs 2,20,000 crore, which would be completed in next 7-8 years, the Prime Minister said.

In addition, the Centre would be six-laning the Golden Quadrilateral, improve 20,000 km of 2-lane highways and develop 1000 km of access controlled expressways, he said. However, the Prime Minister insisted: “People must learn road manners. We Indians behave with great courtesy at home with our family and friends. But when we go out we leave the good manners at home."

Bangalore has become a symbol of new India, people in the rest of the world know about Bangalore more than they do about India, Kannadigas must preserve their great asset _ hospitality, he added.

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said that the State had taken many measures to meet the increasing demand for more infrastructure. He said that his government had proposed an inner core ring road to decongest the central parts of the city apart from upgrading all roads leading to ITPL to national highway standards, widening of 45 roads by BMP and an World Bank assisted project to improve 300km of city roads. The State is also awaiting major projects to be taken up under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), he said.

Kumaraswamy asked the Centre to approve the State's project to tackle coastal erosion in Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts. Karnataka Governor T N Chaturvedi, Union Minister for Road Transport T R Baalu, Union ministers for state K H Muniyappa and M V Rajashekharan, Deputy CM B.S. Yediyurappa, Opposition leader Dharam Singh, MPs Tejaswani Sreeramesh, Prema Kariappa and B.K. Hariprasad were present.

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