Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday inaugurated and laid foundation stone for projects worth over Rs 13,000 crore in Telangana.
These projects are for a total length of 765.66 km of highways.
"Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid foundation of 14 NH projects in Telangana today through virtual mode. These projects include 765.663 km long roads worth Rs 13,169 crore," Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
The virtual event was attended by Union Ministers G Kishan Reddy and VK Singh besides Telangana Minister for Roads and Buildings, Legislative Affairs and Housing Vemula Prashanth Reddy, Speaker of Telangana Assembly Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, MPs and MLAs, in addition to senior officers from the centre and the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gadkari informed that a total of 59 road works with approved length of 1,918 km and a cost of Rs 17,617 crore have been sanctioned in Telangana in the last six years.
Of this, 1,782 km length has already been sanctioned with a cost of 15,689 crore.
He said, almost all of the 33 districts in the state have connectivity with national highways. The remaining district Peddapally will also be connected to the network soon.
The minister said, there has been a phenomenal growth of 55.71 per cent national highway length in the last six years in the state. Nearly 1400 km has been added during this period in the state, he said.
Mr Gadkari informed that while construction of 841 km roads worth Rs 4,793 crore has been completed since 2014-15 in Telangana, work is going on for construction of another 809 km at a cost of Rs 13,012 crore.
He added that during the current financial year, 13 major projects costing Rs. 8,957 crore of length 328 km are proposed to be awarded in the state.
Three major projects for 192 km worth Rs 2,339 crore are under bidding, he said. Another 21 NH works with total length of 1422 km and total cost of Rs 27,116 crore are under various stages of DPR (detailed project report) preparation. These works are likely to be completed by financial year 2024-25.
The minister said that in line with the Prime Minister's vision for a New India, development of world-class transport infrastructure has been prioritized, through initiatives such as the Bharatmala Pariyojana, India's largest ever infrastructure development programme.
The Pariyojana was conceptualised through a scientific study of freight traffic movement between key origin-destination pairs to enable efficient freight and passenger movement.
Projects with length 1,730 km have been identified for development under Bharatmala Pariyojana in the state of Telangana. Out of these 14 projects, 9 projects with length 423 km have already been awarded at a cost of Rs 7,400 crore.
Development of greenfield and access-controlled corridor has also been planned in Telangana to ease-out traffic on existing corridors, reduce travel time and costs and also provide a boost to the economy, he said.
These include Surat, Ahmadnagar, Solapur, Kurnool, Chennai (75 km length in Telangana), Suryapet - Khammam - Devarapalle (164 km length in Telangana) and Indore - Hyderabad (136 km length in Telangana).
While development of these corridors will ease the traffic on existing routes, it will also lead to improved savings, due to reduced travel time and fuel consumption thereby also reducing the carbon footprint, the statement said.
Development of multiple wayside amenities are also being planned across the corridors to improve rider comfort. The corridors have been planned as fully access controlled leading to enhanced rider mobility and safety. Development of these corridors would also generate both white-collar and blue-collar jobs thereby also providing the much-needed boost to the economy, it added.
Mr Gadkari also called upon the State to take up diversification of agriculture into economic productivity.
He said the country is already over-producing sugar and rice, and sufficient stock are available with the government.
The surplus may be converted to ethanol, which can be used as an alternative fuel for vehicles. He said, this will not only improve farmers' income, but will also be an indigenous source of fuels for the country.