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PM to inaugurate metro project in Bangalore

Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of ONGC petrochemical complex in the SEZ in Mangalore.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2006 14:02 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to be in Karnataka on Friday on a two-day trip to kick-start two major infrastructure projects in India's tech hub Bangalore and a mega petrochemical complex in the coastal city of Mangalore.

During his second visit to the state after assuming office two years ago, Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone of the Rs 49-billion ONGC petrochemical complex in the 460-acre special economic zone (SEZ), created in Mangalore recently.

The petrochem project is the first of its kind in scale and size for ONGC, which operates the 9 million tonne Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL).

"As a downstream product of the refinery, the one-million tonne per annum aromatic complex will produce raw materials like PCA, PTA, benzene and methanol for the domestic as well as export markets," a company official said in Bangalore.

The project, which will generate hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, is proposed to be completed by 2009-10.

On Saturday the Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the 10-laning of the 10-km-long mixed corridor between Bangalore and the electronics city on Hosur road.

The corridor is expected to reduce travel time from 90 minutes to 30 minutes for techies commuting on the traffic-choked 30-km-route to the electronics city that houses global software majors like Infosys and Wipro. About 150,000-200,000 people travel daily on this route to the 800-odd tech firms.

The corridor will be executed by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the state government with the participation of the Electronics City Industries Association (ECIA).

Later in the day, Manmohan Singh will also lay the foundation stone for the much-awaited 32-km Bangalore metro rail project. The Rs 63 billion mass transit system is expected to ease traffic congestion on the city's thoroughfares that are chock-a-block with about 2.5 million vehicles, including 1.5 million two-wheelers.

To be executed by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) with equity participation by the central and state governments and Rs 16-billion soft loan from the Japan Bank of International Corporation (JBIC), the metro project is expected to be commissioned by 2008-09 in two-three phases.

"The metro rail will provide an alternate transport to the seven million denizens of the city and ease the massive traffic congestion on its thoroughfares," a BMRC official said.

In between the foundation stone-laying functions, the Prime Minister will release a commemorative coin in the honour of the 12th century social reformist Basaveswara.

He will also preside over the centenary celebrations of Canara Bank, one of the top three scheduled banks in the country.