In Visakhapatnam, traffic jams on arterial roads will become a thing of the past once National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) ambitious plan to expand highways into six lanes at a cost of Rs 863 crore becomes a reality.
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D Purandeswari said that the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highway CP Joshi has given a green signal to the project. Transtroy India firm has bagged the tender.
Once financial closure is achieved sometime this month, work on road widening will commence, she said last week. She said the project stretching over 50-km would cover the entire city and decongest traffic at important junctions such as Gajuwaka, NAD Kotha Road, Satyam and Maddilapalem. As part of the project, foot-over bridges and subways will be developed.
Replying to questions, she said development of Visakhapatnam as an international city was on top of her agenda. “Water problem is likely to compound further. Hence, I am vigorously pursuing construction of desalination plants all along the coast,” she said. “It’s my dream project. Let it be small in capacity to start with. But the future for all the problems lies only in having desalination plants as getting water from Godavari is entirely rain-dependent, ” she said. She said a team would be sent to Chennai for studying their success story.
On the tardy progress in development of Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada, she said efforts were on to revive 15 million tonne Greenfield refinery of HPCL and its partners.
Ms. Purandeswari disclosed that following talks by her with the Rajpakse Administration during her recent Sri Lanka tour, they had agreed to depute a team to city to study the potential to launch flight service from Colombo. “I am hopeful of getting direct flights to Bangkok and Dubai too,” she said and added that the Navy had agreed to allot additional manpower whenever there was increase in the operation of international flights to achieve 24x7, status for INS Dega airport.