No discrimination between states in funds allocation: Muniyappa

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Panaji, Jan 5 (UNI) The Centre does not discriminate between states while allocating funds for maintenance and repair of highways, according to Union Minister of State for Highways, Road Transport and Shipping K H Muniyappa here today.

Mr Muniyappa urged the states to submit the estimates for annual road maintenance on time so that the Centre would examine them before sanction.

Interacting with mediapersons after addressing the members of the Hindi Salahkar Samithi, of his department, the Minister said the Centre has evolved a fool-proof mechanism to ensure quality of roads and bridges being laid under the National Highway Development Project.

The Project has been implemented at an estimated cost of Rs 2,27,000 crore over the period of 2005-2012, with the objective of laying 50,000 km road network by 2015.

The feasibility study for four-laning of the 139 km NH-17 (Panaji-Panvel) is in progress and scheduled to be completed by June. At the sametime, the feasibility study and detailed project report for four-laning of the 69 Km NH-4A (Panaji-Belgaum) has been completed.

Both these works under the NHDP-III, estimated to cost Rs 1,560 crore, are likely to be completed by 2013. Similarly, 13-Km length of the 18 Km NH-17B for four-laning under port connectivity to Mormugao Port has been completed, while the rest is in progress.

Mr Muniyappa further said the Centre has so far accorded a sanction of Rs 29 crore as against Rs 37 crore annual plan for the National Highway works for 2007-08.

Improvement of riding quality programme for a length of 59.50 km has also been approved for national highways in Goa during the same period besides, Rs 4.57 crore for maintenance and repairs.

Four national highways pass through Goa with a total length of 263.177 km.

The Minister also assured Chief Minister Digambar Kamat that all the project proposals for four-laning of highways and laying of second bridge on Zuari river would be cleared at the earliest once the estimates are submitted.

Mr Kamat reminded the Minister that the Prime Minister has accorded priority to these road works to promote tourism in Goa in a big way.

Earlier, the Union Minister stressed the need for popularising Hindi as the national language in southern states.

In this connection, he appreciated the Centre's Department of Official Language for developing a new software for the promotion of Hindi language.

UNI BM NM SM AKJ RN1848

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