Bengaluru, March 31 (IANS) A world-class expressway would be built by NHAI between Bengaluru and Chennai to reduce travel time, save fuel and trigger economic activity, Union Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
"The 260-km Bengaluru-Chennai expressway will be built on the lines of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, which had reduced travel time from eight hours to two hours," Gadkari said here after laying foundation stone for upgrading two national highways in northern and southern Karnataka.
To be constructed on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis by the state-run National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the greenfield project will have cement-concrete road, with service roads, separate parking bays for trucks and terminals for passenger buses, with 12 major intersections.
"The six-lane expressway will be an alternative to the 372-km new National Highway (NH-7) to Chennai via Krishnagiri and Vellore and NH-4 via Kolar and Chittor in Andhra Pradesh," a NHAI official told IANS.
The ambitious national project, estimated to cost over Rs.6,000 crore, will pass through Palamner on Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border and Sriperumbudur enroute to Chennai. Toll will be levied for using the expressway.
"The expressway will come up between the two existing national highways (NH4, NH7) between Bengaluru and Chennai," the official said.
The NHAI will coordinate with Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments in the land acquisition process after notification to farmers and other owners.
On the state government's plea to upgrade the 140-km four-lane Bengaluru-Mysuru state highway to a national highway for making it a six lane road in view of the heavy vehicular traffic, Gadkari said the ministry would consider the request to find a viable solution.
"We are, however, taking up 10 projects across the state from December at an estimated cost of Rs.10,000 crore for widening highways and improving their quality to save time and fuel," Gadkari told state PWD Minister H.C. Mahadevappa.
The NHAI is developing and upgrading Viajayapura-Kalaburgi-Humnabad stretch on NH-218 (new NH-50) to two-lane with paved shoulders and rehabilitation and upgradation of NH-234 (new NH-69) from Madhugiri to Mulbagal via Gowribidnur, Chikkaballapura and Chinthamani.