Conversion of State Highways to National Highways shelved
By A Business Correspondent
The Government of India has, for the time being, shelved the conversion of state highways to national highways. "We want to first consolidate," said Major General (Retd) B.C. Khanduri in Chennai. In the last three years about 20,000 km of state highways had been converted into national highways. National highways are developed and maintained by the Centre through NHAI, while the states take care of the state highways.
Talking to newsmen at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, after laying the foundation stone for the four-laning of projects taken up under the Golden Quadrilateral, the Union minister said that out of the 33 lakh km of road length in the country, 58,000 km were national highways, 26.5 lakh km rural roads and the rest was state highways.
Under the Prime Minister's Grameen Sadak Yojana, the Centre provides about Rs 2,500 crore per year to the states for maintenance of state highways and rural roads. Further, a sum of Rs 7,500 crore per year was available to the states for rural roads and state highways development. However, the maintenance and development of state highways had been very slow, he regretted.
The minister laid the foundation stone for the four-laning between Poonamalle, near Chennai, and Walajahpet in North Arcot district on NH-4 at Kanchipuram. The 56.4 km Poonamalle-Kanchipuram section will be constructed at a cost of Rs 168.38 crore
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