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  State roads to be converted into 4-lane national highways

State roads to be converted into 4-lane national highways

Published : May 9, 2016, 6:26 am IST
Updated : May 9, 2016, 6:26 am IST

More than 15,000 km of two-lane roads across the state will be converted into four-lane national highways (NHs) as the Union highway ministry has changed a few norms to curb road accidents.

Nitin Gadkari
 Nitin Gadkari

More than 15,000 km of two-lane roads across the state will be converted into four-lane national highways (NHs) as the Union highway ministry has changed a few norms to curb road accidents. In Maharashtra, works worth Rs 59,000 crore have been approved by the ministry and the Detail Project Reports (DPR) are in the pipeline. According to Nitin Gadkari, the minister for road transport, highways and shipping, bids would be invited soon to strengthen the network of national highways, which will help curb the number of road accidents.

Speaking with The Asian Age, Mr Gadkari elaborated on the five-year plan of the Union highway ministry, which according to him, has sped up the construction of highways across the nation.

 

“Before the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Front government came into power in May 2014, the length of national highways passing through Maharashtra was just 5,660 km. But during the NDA government’s two-year tenure, the length of national highways has reached 21,559 km. This means we have approved and completed 15,899 km of NHs in the state,” said Mr Gadkari.

He said that the estimated cost approved for the highways project in the state is Rs 59,249 crore and the DPR is in the pipeline. Some of the works are underway, whereas the remaining will start before October this year.

The annual plan size under national highway for 2015-16 for Maharashtra was Rs 5,548 crore, which was increased by about Rs 15,000 crore for the financial year 2016-17and is currently around Rs 20,000 crore, he said. He added that places where NHs passes through a city are also included in the plan.

 

According to Mr Gadkari, more than five lakh people die in road accidents every year across the country. Andhra Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra are the top two states where a maximum number of people die in road accidents. “We want to reduce this figure by half in the next four years and that’s why we want to expand all two-lane national highways into four-lane ones,” said Mr Gadkari, adding, “For this, norms have been changed from 35,000 passenger car unit to 10,000 passenger car unit on NHs.”

Passenger Car Unit is a vehicle unit used for expressing highway capacity. One car is considered as a single unit. It is used for calculations for design and extension of existing road, traffic trends, patterns and geometric and structural design of a new road.

 

“The four-laning work of new national highways will be completed by the National Highway Authorities (NHAI), while the two-lane shoulder roads will be done by PWD and MSRDC, he said.

Nagpur, Jalna, Akola, Beed, Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Wardha, Nashik are the major cities which will benefit by the central road fund scheme.