Hyderabad: The road sector in Telangana that was subjected to discrimination in the undivided Andhra Pradesh is the principal beneficiary of the bifurcation, said Thummala Nageswar Rao, Minister for Roads and Buildings on Friday.
Replying to a short discussion on roads and bridges in the Assembly, he said the new State had taken up the development of new roads as a major challenge. Of the 16,864 km of single-lane road, some 12,000 km was taken up for development at a cost of Rs 13,380 crore. This involved the construction of 357 bridges. One of the major initiatives of the State government was the decision for providing double-lane connectivity between mandal headquarters and district headquarters and it had started paying dividends.
He informed that 125 mandals, which are yet to be provided with double-lane connectivity, were under the consideration for covering them under the programme in the next phase. In all, 139 roads were taken up for laying double-lane roads at a cost of Rs 2,466 crore and the works were in full swing.
The government had taken up widening of 4,058 km of existing roads into double-lane roads at a cost of Rs 5,634 crore. It had also taken up construction of 357 bridges at a cost of Rs 1,538 crore. Some major bridges taken up as part of this included four bridges across the Godavari, and five across Manair, two each over Krishna and Manjeera rivers and one over Pranahita.
The Minister said the government had taken up strengthening of 5,500 km of the road at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore soon after the formation of Telangana. A majority of these roads were neglected in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and they were not considered even for renewing, an exercise that needs to be done for every five years. On the whole, the State had given sanctions for laying new roads costing Rs 13,360 crore in the past two and half years.
Besides this, the government had chalked out plans to take up development and laying new roads with an outlay of another Rs 21,000 crore.
More State roads likely to become NH:
The State will soon be proposing for conversion of another 25,000 km of State highways into national highways. Union Minister for Road Transport, Highway and Shipping Nitin Gadkari had already assured the State to clear the proposals.
The Minister informed that three dry ports were proposed at Bhongir, Jaheerabad and Jedcherla. One or two more places were likely to be proposed for development of dry ports which is the need of the hour in the State, he said.