Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated three National Highways (NH) projects with a cost of Rs 3,695 crore in Washim in Maharashtra.
Washim is located in the western region of the state.
In the last nine years 227 km of highway network has been constructed in the Washim district which has boosted connectivity between Vidarbha and Marathwada. The four-lane NH 161 from Akola in Maharashtra to Sangareddy in Telangana is also critical in strengthening the trade relations between the two states.
Divided into a total of three packages, the first dealing with the 48 km highway from Akola to Medshi with a cost Rs 1,259 crore has four air pools, 10 under-passes and 85 culverts. The second package from Medshi to Washim – a 45 km stretch costing Rs 1,394 crore, has 13 bus shelters, six-lane road over bridge (ROB) and Washim city bypass. Also, under the third package from Pangre to Warangafata or 42 km with a cost of Rs 1042 crore, the main bridge over Kayadhu river, Kalamanuri and Akhara-Balapur city bypass are included.
The highways will facilitate business opportunities in Telangana and Maharashtra leading to employment growth.
According to an official press release, many important places in Akola, Washim, Nanded and Hingoli districts will now be connected. It will be easy and accessible to reach religious and tourist places like Shegavche Gajanan Maharaj Temple, Akola Shahnoor Fort, Antriksh Jain Temple, Eighth Jyotirling Aundha-Naganath, Sant Namdev Maharaj Sansthan, Narsi and Takht Sachkhand Gurudwara in Nanded.
Earlier, Gadkari noted that construction of highways has gained unprecedented momentum in the last five years.
In 2018-19, highways with a total length of 10,900 km were constructed. In 2019-20 construction of 10,200km was undertaken. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, the minister said that in 2020-21, the length was further increased to 13,300 km while it was 10,500km in 2021-22 followed by 10,300km in 2022-23.