Bengaluru: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the Centre would study introducing skybuses and build flyovers to decongest roads in Bengaluru.
It is difficult to widen the existing roads in Bengaluru. So, we have taken two decisions. We will not acquire land but we will build three-deck or grade separators as was done in Chennai, Gadkari told reporters.
He has been here for the last two days attending a programme ‘Manthan’, a session on improving road infrastructure and mobility. Ministers and government officials of the Centre and the State attended the session.
We are working on public transport on electricity. Technology has changed a lot. It’s difficult to acquire land in Bengaluru. So, I suggested the use of skybus like in the Philippines and other countries, the Union Minister said.
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Gadkari said he has directed the officials of the National Highway Authority of India to consult experts in the world to study the condition in Bengaluru and find one such solution for the city.
He said his Ministry financially supports the project.
Since this is our department’s mandate, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai discussed it with me. We are studying it (skybus) and we want to do it. If lakhs of people travel in the sky then the problem below will be solved, he said.
Elaborating on his discussion with Bommai on improving Bengaluru’s connectivity with other cities, Gadkari said a Bengaluru-Chennai greenfield expressway at a length of 262 km at an estimated cost of Rs 17,000 crore has been approved.
Another project is the 1,600- km long Surat-Sholapur-Kurnool-Chennai, which connects Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Delhi.
This road runs 177 km into certain underdeveloped regions of Karnataka such as Akkalkot, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, and Raichur. The project would reduce the travel distance between north and south, Gadkari said.
The Bengaluru-Kadapa-Vijayawada Highway is another prominent project, which would be 342-km long at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore. The land acquisition is on, the Minister said.
According to him, the 288-km long Bengaluru satellite ring road at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore would be solving the problems Bengaluru faces.
Gadkari said Ministry is also making 700-km long greenfield express highway from Pune to Bengaluru at a cost of Rs 45,000 crore. The peripheral ring road of Bengaluru would be connected with other cities.
The Pune-Bengaluru alignment was finalised, he added.
We have made a small change in the Pune-Bengaluru Highway. We are now making it Mumbai-Bengaluru Highway. The journey time from Pune to Bengaluru via expressway will be 4-and-a-half hours. We are taking efforts in this direction, the Minister said.
The journey time from Mumbai to Bengaluru would only be six hours, Gadkari said.
This greenfield (Mumbai-Bengaluru) is a new alignment that is different from Pune-Sholapur, and Pune-Kolhapur. The cost of this project is Rs 45,000 crore. The project would be completed by 2026, the Minister said.
Speaking about the Satellite Ring Road around Bengaluru, he said it is 288-km long at a cost of Rs 16,000 crore. There are 10 packages in it. The contract for the five packages has been awarded out of which work is in progress in three projects and 60 percent of work is completed. The remaining five projects would be awarded in three or four months, Gadkari said.
He said another corridor is the Bengaluru, Chittoor, Vellore, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, and Chennai.
Talking about the two-day session, Gadkari said the road safety Bill was recently passed by Parliament. On the basis of it, lots of reforms have happened in this sector.
Six States have implemented it 100 percent while 14 States have implemented it by 80 percent, the Minister said.
According to him, the two-day session was aimed at establishing cooperation, coordination, and communication between the States.
In this Manthan under the Bharatmala series, 80 Ministers and 140 officials including principal secretaries and chief engineers from the Centre and the States from the public works departments, transport, and industry participated, Gadkari said.