Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bangalore-Mysore four-lane highway to be ready soon

Bangalore-Mysore four-lane highway to be ready soon

The Hindu

Work to be completed by September 30

# Deadline for completion to be met
# Work on nine bridges to be completed by December
# Work going on round the clock on some stretches
# Widened highway will cut travel time between cities to two hours
# Funds sought for repair of roads power lines damaged by rain

BANGALORE: Work on the Bangalore-Mysore highway, which is being made a four-lane road, will be completed by September 30, a week ahead of the Dasara festival.

Minister for Public Works and Energy H.D. Revanna told presspersons here on Tuesday that the highway will be ready by the deadline specified by the Government to the contractor concerned. Nine major bridges, including those across the Shimsha and the Cauvery, however, will be ready only by December.

He said that on certain stretches of the road, particularly in the vicinity of Kengeri and Maddur, work has been going on round the clock for nearly a week. Despite the deadline given for completing work on the highway, the quality of work has not suffered. The commissioning of the widened highway is expected to reduce the travelling time between the two cities to about two hours.

Second phase

Detailed project reports for undertaking the second phase of the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project are ready, and the proposal will be placed before the Cabinet shortly its approval, Mr. Revanna said. The proposal will then be sent to the Union Government, which will forward it to the World Bank. The bank is expected to extend financial assistance for the Rs. 3,000-crore project. Nearly 3,000 km of State highways will be upgraded under the scheme.

Under the first phase of the State Highways Improvement Project, the World Bank extended assistance of Rs. 2,030 crores to upgrade 2,300 km. The project was implemented when Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh was the Public Works Minister in the S.M. Krishna government. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by August 2006.

Mr. Revanna said the recent heavy rain in several districts of the State has damaged roads. He has asked Mr. Singh and Finance Minister P.G.R. Sindhia for special grants for the repair of such roads. The rainfall has also damaged electricity substations and power lines. While the Public Works Department has sought a grant of Rs. 209 crores, Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Ltd. has sought Rs. 93 crores. The Finance Minister wanted details of the repairs proposed to be undertaken, and the Public Works and Energy departments are compiling the details, he said.

Mr. Revanna said he has constituted several teams of retired Energy Department engineers to assist the Government in preparing detailed project reports aimed at upgrading substations and power lines.

Although there are 600 substations in the State, nearly 100 of them are unable to handle heavy loads. Thus, despite a policy decision to ensure continuous power supply in rural areas, it could not be implemented, he said.


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