Bengaluru-Chennai work to be flagged off by PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to flag off work on the much-awaited 263-km-long Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, a greenfield project that seeks to reduce travel time between two major south Indian cities.

Though the date for launch of the work has not yet been finalised, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha told The Hindu that senior officials from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had already visited Bengaluru for an inspection of the project.

He said the works on the key road infrastructure project could be flagged off before the elections are held to the Assembly in Tamil Nadu, whose term is scheduled to end in May 2021.

Mr. Modi had similarly launched the work on widening the Mysuru-Bengaluru highway in February 2018 ahead of the May 2018 Assembly elections in Karnataka.

Meanwhile, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials said bids had been invited for one package of the expressway project that passes through three States โ€“ Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. While 72 km of the expressway will fall in Karnataka, about 85 km will be in Andhra Pradesh and 106 km in Tamil Nadu.

The expressway project starts from Hoskote and passes through Malur and Bangarpet in Kolar district before entering Andhra Pradesh and eventually reaching Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

Though initially it was conceived as an eight-lane expressway, the width of the road was reduced to six-lane and eventually four-lane due to budgetary constraints. However, officials said the land acquisition process for the project has been completed.

The estimated cost of the expressway project is around โ‚น17,000 crore and is scheduled for completion in about two-and-a-half years.

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