Peeved over inordinate delays in execution, Karnataka on Friday set a one year deadline for the completion of all highway projects across the state.
"Complete all projects on 4,000 km national highways across the state within a year, as their pace slowed down of late for various reasons," said Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy at a high-level meeting with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) officials.
Estimated to cost Rs 37,000 crore, the projects have been held up due to delays in land acquisition and shifting of utilities by the state government.
"The Chief Minister directed the Deputy Commissioners and the CEOs of the zilla parishads in the districts to speed up the land acquisition process and hand them over to the NHAI for the highway projects," said an official in a statement in Bengaluru.
State Public Works Department (PWD) Minister HD Revanna said that Karnataka had 7,556 km highway roads, maintained by NHAI and NH division of the PWD.
"As the NHAI has been directed to develop 1,959 km highway roads across the state by this fiscal (2018-19), with Rs 27,000 crore investment, I have told the departments concerned to cooperate with the highway authority in completing them in a time-bound manner," Revanna said in the statement.
Revenna is the elder brother of Kumaraswamy and second son of former Prime Minister and ruling Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supreme HD Deve Gowda.
Besides Kumaraswamy and Revenna, Cooperation Minister Bandeppa Kashempur, Chief Secretary TM Vijaya Bhaskar and officials concerned in the state and NHAI attended the meeting at the state secretariat in Bengaluru.
Among the projects are NH 275 from Bengaluru to Mysuru (117 km); NH 17 from Goa border to Kundapur via Karwar in coastal Uttara Kannada district (179 km); NH 206 from Tumakuru to Shivamogga (205 km), NH 150 from Ballari to Hiriyur (160 km), and Bengaluru satellite town ring road (283 km).
The state has also proposed to the central government to convert the 180 km Bengaluru-Hassan road into a total control access expressway.