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PM lays stone for 10-lane expressway
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, June 24
The public-private partnership (PPP) is to be the new mantra for development with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, saying that the country’s experience with this model has been very successful and that more funds will be tapped from the private sector for infrastructure development.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for the Rs 756-crore 10- laned expressway linking the Silk Board junction to Electronic City along the Hosur road, the Prime Minister said the efficiency of PPP projects could provide timely delivery schedules.

Besides, the government would be six-laning the Golden Quadrilateral project connecting the four metros, improving 20,000 km of two-lane highways, developing1,000 km of access-controlled expressways and constructing by-passes and ring roads in and around important cities, the Prime Minister said.

“I look forward to the day when the face of this nation will be changed by a dense network of world class highways, reaching out to the farthest corners of the country”, he added.

The Bangalore Metro Rail project was also inaugurated later at a function held here today The state Congress put up a show of strength to signify its role behind the metro even as former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) President H. D. Deve Gowda kept away from the inaugural ceremony.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the Prime Minister referred to the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, which would finance development of urban infrastructure and basic services for the urban poor.

He said Bangalore and Mysore were covered under the mission and the state should prepare futuristic plans to take advantage of the mission.

Meanwhile, the 9-km-long expressway, which is being executed by a consortium of three private companies, is expected to provide relief to thousands of people who work in Electronic City, the information technology hub of the city.

At present, it takes around one hour to traverse this 9-km stretch. Once the expressway is completed by July, 2008, the distance could be travelled in 10 to 15 minutes. This is likely to reduce loss of man hours and give a fillip to the IT industry in the city.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the government had speeded up the construction of national highways in the country after allocating additional funds for ongoing projects.

He said the entire programme was being expanded to meet current needs. “We now have a road programme, the National Highway Development Project, costing Rs 2.20 lakh crore to be implemented in seven to eight years”, he said.

Dr Manmohan Singh also disclosed on the occasion that the work on the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s petrochemical project at Mangalore would begin without any delay.

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