Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ride to airport to be cut short, but at a price

Ride to airport to be cut short, but at a price

Senthalir S and Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore



The travel time to the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) will soon be cut short. But this will come at a price.
During the inauguration of the elevated Hosur Road expressway on Friday, Union law minister M Veerappa Moily disclosed that the 22-km stretch between Hebbal and the BIA would be converted into a toll road. Moily said the Centre had on Thursday approved a Rs679-crore project for upgrading the road BIA. "This will help Bangaloreans reach the airport faster from Hebbal," he said.
The 22-km stretch would be expanded into an eight-lane road from the existing four-lane. The project is expected to cut down the travel time from the city centre to the BIA by at least half an hour. He added that cabinet has also approved Rs2,600 crore electrification of railway lines from Shoranur-Mangalore and Panambur. MP Ananth Kumar said the 22-km stretch was another gift to Bangaloreans. The project is expected to be completed in 30 months. The project was approved in a meeting of the cabinet committee on infrastructure (CCI) chaired by prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa underlined that the state government had entered into an agreement with the government of India to develop national highways in the state. "We will make land acquisition an easy process for road transport and highway projects," he said. He said that the NH-48 linking Bangalore to coastal Karnataka and roads in Shirdi Ghat would also be upgraded.
Union minister for road transport and highways Kamal Nath said that Rs18,000 crore would be spent over the next four years on national highways development.
KH Muniyappa, Union minister of state for railways, said a project report had been prepared for building a 24km elevated road from Electronic City to NH-7.

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