4000 km of state highways to be upgraded,bidar

Chamarajnagar-Bidar highway

Bengaluru: Public works minister Dr H.C. Mahadevappa said the Centre had given in-principle consent for upgrading 4000 km of state highways to national highways.

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Participating in a Meet the press programme, jointly organised by Bangalore Reporters Guild and Press Club of Bangalore here on Thursday, Dr Mahadevappa said that once the upgradation of these roads is complete, the state will have direct connectivity with all neighbouring states.

The 4000 km of roads are part of 23 state highways, including the Chamarajnagar-Bidar highway. The proposal includes construction of an eight-lane ring road around Bengaluru to decongest the city and digging a tunnel at Shiradi ghat so that the distance between Bengaluru and Mangalore is reduced.

One round of talks has been held with the Centre and work is expected to start by the year end, he said.

The department needs Rs 8,000 crore to upgrade and maintain existing state roads. “We have sought Rs 4000 crore as budgetary allocation from the chief  minister. I am hopeful the allocation will be made,” he said.

Dr Mahadevappa said the state was losing revenue due to illegal sand mining. “The sub-committee has recommended sand mining only in permitted areas. At the moment, the state is getting over Rs 200 crore revenue from these permits. The new policy will plug the revenue leakage from illegal mining,” he said.

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