Friday, January 22, 2010

Seamless drive to BIA

Seamless drive to BIA
Aditya Raj Das and Ajith Athrady, New Delhi, DHNS:

People travelling to the Bangalore International Airport (BIA) can look forward to a seamless drive as the Centre on Thursday approved the upgradation of the existing highway leading to the airport to a world-class road.

A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI), chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the project that would cost an estimated Rs 679.36 crore. The amount would be spent on the 22-km stretch of National Highway-7 from Hebbal flyover to Devanahalli. It is expected to be completed in 30 months.

Billed as a state-of-the-art expressway, which will also be a toll road, this stretch will be expanded to eight-lane from the existing four-lane.

The project will cut down the travelling time from the city centre to the BIA to half an hour from the current one hour.

Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy told newspersons after the Cabinet meeting that the CCI has decided to upgrade this road with public private partnership on Build Operate Own Transfer basis.

The concession period for private developers would be 20 years and they would be allowed to collect toll from road users, a highly placed source in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway told Deccan Herald.

To ensure signal-free traffic, five new flyovers will also be constructed.
Apart from this, the project also involves building of several underpasses for pedestrians, construction of approach roads, reconstruction of the existing service road and bus bays.

The National Highway Authority of India ( NHAI), which will monitor the project, will take over the Hebbal flyover from the Bangalore Development Authority and will widen it to six-lane from the existing four-lane. As per the plan, of the 5.6 km flyover, the NHAI plans to add piers on a one km-long stretch to make it six-lane, sources said.

As per a survey conducted by government agencies, the passenger car units was 12,364 vehicles during peak hours of traffic to BIA in 2009. This is likely to go up to 13,291 in 2010.

Keeping this in view, the NHAI had proposed to widen the existing highway connecting to BIA to accommodate the increased traffic.

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