Vijayawada: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday February 17 inaugurated and laid foundation for 51 road projects worth over Rs 21,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh.
Gadkari also inaugurated a second flyover at Benz Circle in Vijayawada in the presence of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
At a programme held at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium here, Gadkari launched the road projects covering 1,381 km.
Describing Andhra Pradesh as a progressive state with a good potential for development, Gadkari accepted the request of Reddy to sanction the East bypass to Vijayawada city, besides 30 Road over Brides (RoBs).
The minister laid emphasis on development of infrastructure and improved road connectivity for the growth of industry and agriculture.
The Chief Minister said it was a great day for the state with the Union minister being present for the inauguration of 51 projects, of which foundation stone was laid for 30 projects running into 735 km with an estimated cost of Rs 10, 368 crore, besides the inauguration of 21 projects covering 645 km with a cost of Rs 11,191 crore.
Stating that expansion and development of highways has been a priority, Reddy said that the state has allocated Rs 10,600 crore for state highways.
A total of Rs 6,400 crore was allocated for connecting the district headquarters to mandals through two-lane highways, Rs 2,300 crore for repair and maintenance and Rs 1,700 crore for the pending works.
Gadkari was all praise for the Chief Minister and called him a young and dynamic leader who is taking the state forward.
The Union minister said that by 2024, the Centre would spend Rs 3 lakh crore for the development of roads. Of the 23 Greenfield express highways the ministry has taken up, six fall in Andhra Pradesh, which include the Raipur-Visakhapatnam (465 km) stretch that will be completed by 2024, Nagpur to Vijayawada highway which will be completed by 2025, the Chittoor-Thanjavur highway, Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru-Chennai highways which run through 85 km in Andhra Pradesh, all of which will be completed before 2025.
The Chief Minister also requested for a six-lane connectivity of Visakhapatnam port to Bhogapuram and converting a few state highways into national highways.
Later, Reddy held talks with Gadkari on key projects in the state. There was extensive discussion on the proposed six-lane beach corridor connecting Visakhapatnam with Bhogapuram. This project would not only shore up tourism, but will also play a vital role in the development process and generate employment, Reddy told Gadkari.
The beach corridor will also facilitate better connectivity to the Bhogapuram international airport. The Union minister expressed his willingness and advised the state government to submit a proposal drafted by international consultants.