The Chennai-Bengaluru greenfield expressway is likely to be completed by Dec this year, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday.
Responding to supplementary questions in the Lok Sabha, Gadkari urged govts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala to help the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in making construction material such as aggregates and fly ash for the projects available in the respective states.
“I am giving confidence to the House … that we are trying our level best to complete the highway before Dec. The distance between Chennai and Bengaluru can be covered within two hours,” the minister said.
Gadkari said he had also spoken to chief minister M K Stalin to apprise him of the problems faced by NHAI in the construction of highways in the state.
“I do not want to politicise the issue. But without getting aggregate, without getting all things that we need for the road construction, how is it possible for us to complete the road,” Gadkari said in response to a question raised by DMK member Dayanidhi Maran.
He expressed readiness to discuss the issue with the officers of the state govt and officials of NHAI to find a solution to the problems in speeding up the project.
On the NH-774 greenfield highway connecting Kollam in Kerala with Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Gadkari said the Kerala govt had accepted Centre’s proposal to bear 25% of the land acquisition costs for the project, instead of 50% as agreed earlier.
“He (Pinarayi Vijayan) had accepted that but we are awaiting a formal reply from Kerala govt,” Gadkari said in response to a question by RSP member N K Premachandran.
Premachandran also sought to know whether the Centre was ready to bear the entire cost to the project if the state govt refused to contribute its share.
“The Chief Minister has agreed to our proposal. We are awaiting a formal reply from the Kerala govt,” Gadkari said. agencies