For techies used to racing on the information highway, the ride to Silicon Valley will soon get faster.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will flag off a Rs 450 crore dream venture that will ease traffic woes for the city's burgeoning population of IT professionals and reduce travel time and fuel consumption by 30 per cent.
The 10 km elevated "Hi-tech" flyover to Electronics City, the IT hub on the city's outskirts, will be the first of its kind in the country.
The four-lane flyover will be Bangalore's highest flyover at a dizzying 17 metres (56 feet) from the ground. It will be constructed in 24 months by a Hyderabad-based consortium comprising Soma Enterprises-Nagarjuna Construction Company and Maytas (a group company of Satyam Computers) on BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) basis.
The consortium will recover the cost through toll charged for all types of vehicles that drive through the lofty road.
In addition, the road beneath the elevated highway will be turned into a six-lane pass for traffic on the Bangalore-Hosur (Tamil Nadu) sector, and a service road involving two lanes on either sides.
The original plan envisaged a Rs 760 crore joint venture of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the Karnataka Government and the Electronics City Industries Association (ECIA).
"The construction will start soon. The UPA Government has given its approval for construction of this elevated highway and thus fulfil a long pending request of the Government of Karnataka and the IT entrepreneurs of Electronics City," K.H. Muniyappa, Union minister of state for shipping, road transport and highways, said at a newsconference here on Thursday.
The PM will also unveil the foundation stone for the 33-km Bangalore Metro Rail venture. The Rs 6,395 crore mass transit system will help ease traffic congestion on the city's roads that are congested with about 2.5 million vehicles, including 1.5 million two-wheelers. It will be executed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) with equity participation by the central and state governments and a Rs.1600 crore soft loan from the Japan Bank of International Corporation (JBIC). The seven-km first phase of the mega-buck project would be ready by 2009, according to Muniyappa.