VIJAYAWADA : Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday laid the foundation stones for six national highway projects and an inland waterway in Andhra Pradesh. He also dedicated seven other national highway projects. The total cost of all 13 highway projects is Rs 4,153 crore. Naidu also laid the foundation stone for development of an inland waterway in the Krishna River between Muktyala and Vijayawada (National Waterway-4) in the capital region of Amaravati.
In the first phase of the project, the stretch between Muktayala and Vijayawada will be developed for transportation. The total project cost is Rs 7,015 crore and the length of the waterway will be 315 km.
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu attended the function held here.
Naidu stressed the need for interlinking of rivers and their protection. He claimed that the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme which linked Krishna and Godavari rivers saved Krishna delta from a drought-like situation.
Gadkari said the Centre would spend more than Rs 1 lakh crore on improving national highways in Andhra Pradesh and this would give a tremendous boost to the development of the state.
He said a six-lane access controlled greenfield Amaravati Expressway will be built to connect the new capital city Amaravati with Anantapur and also provide connectivity to Kurnool and Kadapa.
The project has been approved with a total length of 557 km and cost of about Rs 25,000 crore. He added that the Andhra Pradesh government is preparing a detailed project report and it is in the process of acquiring land.
The Minister also said that under Sagaramala programme, several port-related projects would be taken up in the state and the capacity of the Visakhapatnam port would be expanded.
Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor is another major project which would benefit the state enormously and it would be taken up expeditiously, he added.
Gadkari gave assurance that the Polavaram irrigation project would be completed before the next general election in 2019 and the Union Government would render all necessary assistance to the state government for the purpose.