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Centre okays new railway, highway projects worth Rs 28,875 crore across states for fast-track development

Photo for representation.

The inter-ministerial National Planning Group has approved six railway and highway projects worth Rs 28,875.16 crore to improve connectivity to various villages and key industrial business hubs across states and reduce travel time by bypassing congested and highly populated areas.

The road and rail projects stretching across states such as Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Karnataka will also lead to an expansion in business avenues and generate employment opportunities for the local people.

The list of projects includes Barbil-Nayagarh-Barsuan and Bhadrasahi- Kiriburu railway project which will see an investment of Rs 12,532.87 crore, connecting the existing stations of South Eastern Railway and Nayagarh of East Coast Railway. This railway alignment connects the major mines of Sundargarh and Keonjhar district of Odisha tate and Paschimi Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.

The national planning group has also approved the proposed Malkangiri to Bhadrachalam railway line with an investment of Rs 3,591.76 crore panning across the states of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. This will open a new corridor connecting South Central Railway (Pandurangapuram) to East Coast Railway (Junagarh). It is also expected to reduce the distance between deep seaports of Andhra Pradesh to mines and industries in southern Odisha. The projects are being taken up under the area development approach in PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan for better connectivity to both commercial and social infrastructure.

Besides a proposed line connecting Vaibhavwadi- Kolhapur worth Rs 3411.17 crore in Maharashtra. The new line is expected to cater to thermal coal traffic to various Thermal Power plants in the region especially in Maharashtra and Karnataka apart from other industries. The industry in the region, including areas of tourist interest was assessed for connectivity of new infrastructure.

A road project Hassan–Raichur Economic Corridor 20 (EC20),  with a total project cost of Rs 6,274.75 crore under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, was also cleared at the meeting. The EC20 corridor passes through two States and 5 districts namely, Hassan, Tumkur, Bellary in Karnataka, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and Raichur in Karnataka. It is expected to enhance the connectivity to Economic and Social Nodes of the area.

The national planning group also recommended the proposal for 6-laning from Gonde to Pimpri-Sado section of NH-848 worth Rs 936.03 crore and 4-laning of the road near Satai ghat to Kaimaha near MP and UP border worth Rs 2,128.58 crore.  These projects are expected to ease the traffic congestion in the existing highways and lead to better management of freight volume and movement pattern on the highway.

The projects have been fast-tracked under the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan which is a transformative approach for integrated and holistic planning across concerned Ministries and Departments to improve multimodal connectivity, logistics efficiency and to address critical infrastructure gaps for seamless movement of people and goods, with focus on minimising disruptions and ensuring timely completion of projects.

Also read: PM Modi to roll out projects worth Rs 50,000 crore for 4 states in big push to development