Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced investment of Rs 12,000 crore in upgrading eight highways in Gujarat to National Highways as part of efforts to boost infrastructure development and job generation in the state. “India is going to compete with the world,” the Prime Minister said, adding that the ambitious Sagarmala Project would see an investment of Rs 8 lakh crore and usher in port-led development in the country. “Eight highways in Gujarat, totaling 1,200 km, will be converted into National Highways at an investment of Rs 12,000 crore,” he said.
He added that the pace of highways construction has risen 11 times to 22 km per day from 2 km/day during the previous regime.
Earlier, Modi unveiled a plaque to dedicate to the nation a four-lane cable-stayed (extradosed) bridge over river Narmada.
The 1.3 km cable-stayed bridge is the longest in the country and is expected to ease traffic on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai National Highway.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said not only was the bridge constructed in record 34 months, it entailed only Rs 380 crore expenditure after a fresh tender in 2014 by the present government.
Gadkari said the Congress government had earlier approved the bridge in 2012 at a cost of Rs 475 crore.
The bridge will significantly reduce traveling time while improving the connectivity between Gujarat and Mumbai.
The project was constructed under engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) across river Narmada with six lane approaches (6.7 km) on Ahmedabad-Mumbai section of NH-8 in Baruch.
This is the largest extradosed span (144 meters) in India and the first extradosed bridge in Gujarat, built by Larsen & Toubro at an estimated cost of Rs 379 crore.
As per officials, the bridge will have have state-of-the-art highway traffic management system (HTMS), variable message sign boards, median plantation, traffic aid post, RFID and smart card swapping enabled infrastructure at the toll plaza and theme lighting on the main bridge.
An extradosed bridge employs a structure which combines the main elements of both a pre-stressed box girder bridge and a cable-stayed bridge.