Road work accorded high priority: Muniyappa

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Ahmedabad, Dec 12 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways K H Muniyappa, while refuting the BJP allegation that the Centre has not contributed to the road sector development, said within two-and-half years, 15 per cent of the road work, totalling 5,846 km, has been completed.

The overall road projects undertaken by the UPA government is worth Rs 220,000 crore of which 15,000 km of national highway are to be completed by 2012.

During the NDA rule, only 45 per cent work was completed in five years, the minister said.

As far as Gujarat is concerned, it has been accorded top priority and the Centre has declared 774 km of national highways for the state, Mr Muniyappa said.

After the Gujarat floods, money was sanctioned to Gujarat on priority basis, but Rs 100 crore is still lying unutilised with the state government, he alleged.

He said the Dandi Heritage route, starting from Ahmedabad to Dandi and covering 374 kms, is being made a two-lane way at a cost of Rs 400 crore. The work on NH8B is to be undertaken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and will be over in two years, he said.

Under the UPA government, eight projects for the East-West Corridor have been awarded covering 570.6 km at a cost of Rs 2291.68 crore. The land acquistion has been completed except for 3.01 hectares.

The stretch between Vadodara to Bharuch covering 400 km has been awarded with the contractor paying the government Rs 975 crore ( a negative grant) on public-private participation. This is a six-lane national highway, said the minister adding the work would be over by 2009 end.

UNI

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