The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is stepping up its efforts to improve the road infrastructure in the country with five greenfield road projects set to get the green light. This is close on the heels of the ministry’s announcement last month of commencement of work between Gurgaon and Mumbai that will reduce the distance by almost 200km. The 5 new greenfield projects for the development of road network will link important industrial and manufacturing hubs of India.
The five new greenfield road network projects are on the routes between Bathinda-Kandla, Bathinda-Ajmer, Raipur-Visakhapatnam, Chennai-Salem, and Ambala-Katputli. In addition to this, the ministry also has identified two new stretches between Durg-Aurang in Chhattisgarh and Mangalore-Chitradurga in Karnataka.
In March, the ministry said that land situated along an existing road now costs twice as much as land anywhere else. According to the ministry, if we put all expenditure that might be required in land acquisition, building passages for pedestrians, tree cutting and compensatory afforestation, it might be the same as building a new highway. Considering these facts the highways ministry have decided to go on and build more greenfield highways with straight alignment rather than expanding the existing network of roads, which will in turn help to avoid delay in land acquisition and high cost for procuring land.
The new network of roads between Bhatinda and Kandla passing through Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Barmer, and Sanchore in Rajasthan will cut down the current distance of 1,100km to almost 900km. This 4-lane greenfield highway will be less expensive and will open up new areas for development around this region. Similarly, the new highway between Bhatinda and Ajmer which passes through Sirsa in Haryana and Sikar in Rajasthan will reduce the distance by at least 120km. Also, the greenfield highway between Chennai and Salem in Tamil Nadu will bring down the distance by 70 odd km.
“One of the main focus of these new alignments will be to provide connectivity to some of the underdeveloped areas as highway connectivity will push development in those regions. Second, new roads will free up the congested highways and thereby improve the traffic flow.” said a ministry official.
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