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Centre gives go-ahead for Rs 4,767 crore Kerala highway project

Photo for representation.

The inter-ministerial National Panning Group has given the go-ahead for constructing the four-lane Thiruvananthapuram Outer Ring Road under Bharatmala Pariyojana in Kerala with an investment of Rs 4,767.2 crore.

The decision to clear the project which forms part of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor was taken at a meeting of the national planning group held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The project is essential to provide smooth and faster connectivity to Eastern Region from Northern Region and will boost the economic growth in economically backward regions. The project will reduce travel time, save vehicle operation cost, and will provide last-mile connectivity to the new international sea port in Vizhinjam, according to an official statement issued today.

Another road project, Dahod-Bodeli-Vapi Corridor with an outlay of Rs 1,179.33 crore was also recommended to be taken up for construction by the NPG. The project road starts at the junction of the new Vadodara-Delhi Expressway and ends beyond the Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway. It forms an important connectivity with Bodeli, Devaliya, Rajpipla, Netrang, Vyara, Dharampur, Vapi and further Southwards to Mumbai via Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway which is under implementation.

The project will improve the road network, benefiting the local people by reducing travel time, travel distance as well as transportation cost. It will also boost socio-economic development and tourism along the project road.

NPG also deliberated on a new broad gauge railway Line between Pushkar – Merta in Rajasthan with a project cost of Rs 799.64 crores. The proposed new line will provide direct connectivity from Central India to Northern India as well as to Western border. Besides, it will decongest and reduce pressure on Highways.

Another rail project in Rajasthan, a new broad-gauge line between Merta City-Ras Railway Stations worth Rs 947 crore was assessed by the NPG as well. The project holds significant importance in facilitating quicker movement of goods and promoting industrial and overall development in the region encompassing Pali and Nagaur districts of Rajasthan.

The NPG meeting chaired by Special Secretary, Logistics, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Sumita Dawra and was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Ministry of Power.

The total cost of the projects taken up for discussion works out Rs 7, 693.17 crore.

Dawra stressed upon the importance of utilising the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan portal and adopting the ‘whole of government’ approach for expediting infrastructure planning and execution of big ticket projects with an wider area development approach.

The PM Gati Shakti programme for inter-modal connectivity that includes integration of big-ticket land, seaport and rail projects with all ministries working together in close coordination to cut red-tape and expedite the planning and execution of these crucial infrastructure projects.