Sunday, August 24, 2008

Soon, drive to Chennai at 120 km/h

oon, drive to Chennai at 120 km/h
Sunday August 24 2008 02:49 IST

Express News Service

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BANGALORE: Fasten your seat belts and get ready to zip off to Chennai at 120 km per hour from Bangalore, as the Union Government has approved a greenfield high-speed expressway, which will connect the two cities.

The high-speed expressway between Bangalore and Chennai is part of 1,000 km project, which the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to undertake across the country.

"We are at present studying the alignment using satellite imagery. Once this study, which will take four months, is completed, a feasibility study would be conducted and the project would be entrusted to the concessionaires," Union Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways KH Muniyappa told reporters after inspecting the National Highway (NH) -7 on Saturday.

The greenfield expressway, which could be a four- or six-lane highway, will be undertaken on a public-privateparticipation (P-P-P) model and will have a completely new alignment. Muniyappa did not specify whether the alignment would run parallel to the present Hosur-Chennai highway or the Bangalore-Kolar-Chennai highway.

"The alignment will be entirely on a new route and it will be decided when the alignment study is over," he said. NHAI, as part of the 1,000-km project, will build three more high-speed expressways between Delhi-Meerut, Mumbai-Vadodara and Kolkata-Dhanbad at a cost of Rs 15 crore per kilometre.

The Minister said that to ease traffic congestion on the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) road, a four-km long six-lane elevated highway would be built between Hebbal and Yelahanka.

In all, the stretch will have 14 lanes which includes a six-lane elevated highway, a four-lane highway on the surface level and four service roads.

This apart, between Yelahanka and airport, flyovers would be built to ensure signal-free crossing and to avoid road accidents, which are on the rise at the airport road.

The total project cost would be Rs 450 crore. The NHAI has also identified the Hospet-Bellary stretch on NH-63, Hassan- Bantwal Cross Road stretch on NH-48, Hospet-Chitradurga stretch on NH-13 and Karnataka/Maharashtra border-Bijapur stretch on NH-13 for feasibility study for four/six laning work.


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