Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, May 14, 2002
Major push for AP road projects
HYDERABAD, May 13
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has earmarked Rs 2,700 crore for maintenance and repair works of core network of roads to be taken up in the next three years, while other road projects would be taken up with external assistance and private sector participation.
The State Roads and Buildings Minister, Mr Tummala Nageshwara Rao, on Monday said the road sector had been provided special thrust by the State Government as it formed a crucial infrastructure both within the State and for inter-State transport.
The State Government had been increasing allocation of funds for the road sector year after year and the outlay has increased from Rs 1,423 crore few years ago to Rs 5,432 crore in 2001-2002. During the last five years, the percentage of well-maintained roads had increased from 27 per cent to 79 per cent, he said.
Mr Rao said that in 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, the allocation for the road sector was Rs 1,322 crore and Rs 1,487 crore respectively and this had now increased to Rs 1,553 crore in 2002-2003.
Further, in 2001-2002 a stretch of 7,797 km was improved and 138 bridges completed. And in 2002-2003, 8,957 km of roads are proposed to be taken up and improved and 229 bridges are planned to be completed.
As a part of the ongoing project to develop and strengthen roads, particularly all the primary core network of roads and also replace all weak and narrow bridges, a massive effort has been initiated to widen 1,996 km of core net roads, widen and strengthen 2,654 km of roads, improve 19,651 km of roads, along with replacement of narrow bridges, and providing bypass roads and developing four-lane highways.
The State Government had entrusted maintenance of roads on performance-based contract in the districts of Nalgonda, Kurnool, Chittoor, and Guntur. This is proposed to be extended to the entire road network in the State in a phased manner.
This will not only provide better roads to the public but also provide better value for funds deployed in the project. In addition to funds from the State Government and Central allocation, a major chunk of roads are to be taken up under the panchayat raj as well as the Andhra Pradesh Economic Restructuring Project, alongside private sector participation.
A stretch of 1,246 km of roads is being taken up under the Andhra Pradesh Economic Restructuring Project at a cost of Rs 371 crore with World Bank assistance. These works are likely to be completed by June 2003.
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