The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the four laning of the Sultanpur-Varanasi section of National Highway – 56 in Uttar Pradesh. This will substantially upgrade Varanasi’s connectivity to Lucknow and other parts of Central Uttar Pradesh. The total capital cost will be around around Rs.3,800 crore on this 138 km long stretch.
The CCEA also approved the four laning of the Varanasi to Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and further to Nepal section of National Highway – 29 in Uttar Pradesh. This is likely to improve regional connectivity and facilitate improved movement of people and goods in the region and across the border. The four laning of this 200 kms will have a total capital cost of approximately Rs.4,400 crore. Varanasi is one of the oldest cities having great cultural, historical and religious eminence. It has tremendous tourism potential and it attracts tourists from all over the world.
In an another decision, the CCEA also approved the four laning / two laning with paved shoulders of the Madurai-Ramanathapuram section of National Highway – 49 in Tamil Nadu. This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-III for a total length of 115 kms with a total capital cost of about Rs. 1,400 crore. The project is likely to be completed in two and half years from the date of award. The improvement of this stretch of National Highways 49 is a long pending demand of the people of Tamil Nadu, since it connects the important business centre of Madurai to the southern most tip of the country.
These decisions will bridge the infrastructure deficit in the country in an equitable manner. These pro-active steps will also strengthen the national highways network across the country, especially in regions where there has been a chronic shortfall. In this context, despite market related constraints, a total length of 8000 kms of National Highways were awarded during the financial year 2014-15. Since Highways act as a force multiplier to economic growth, these decisions are expected to spur economic activities across the nation.
In total, therefore, the CCEA today approved the strengthening and widening of 455 kms. of National Highways with a total capital cost of about Rs 9500 crore. The expenditure to be incurred on these projects is to be borne by the Government of India.
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