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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Maharashtra gives a push to roads and rural infrastructure

The government has allocated major outlays for road projects, development of airports in tier-II cities, modernisation of state transport corporation’s bus stands and adding buses, among others.

mumbai Updated: Feb 28, 2019 00:42 IST
Swapni Rawal
Swapni Rawal
         

With an eye on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government’s interim budget for 2019-20 focused on infrastructure development in rural Maharashtra.

The government has allocated major outlays for road projects, development of airports in tier-II cities, modernisation of state transport corporation’s bus stands and adding buses, among others.

Mega infrastructure projects, including Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, Metro projects, suburban railway projects, found a mention in state finance minister Sudhir Mungatiwar’s speech, but got no separate allocation.

Mumbai got ₹26 crore towards development of Ro-Ro jetties at Radio Club, Nariman Point, Mora and Elephanta Island for its passenger water transport service.

The minister said construction of jetties at Vasai, Bhayander, Kharwadeshwari, Manori, Ghodbunder, Narangi, Malwan, Borivli, Gorai and Ambdave are in progress under the Sagarmala Programme.

The finance minister announced an outlay of ₹8,500 crore for road development in the state. Apart from that, an outlay of ₹ 3,700 crore for development of roads under the hybrid annuity model (HAM), ₹2,164 crore under Chief Minister Gram Sadak Yojana and ₹350 crore for NABARD-assisted road development has been proposed. Under HAM, the risks are split between the developer and government, while the private partner bears the construction and maintenance risks

“The government is determined to build a road network in the state… The length of national highways was 4,766km in 2014, which has now risen to 17,750km… The Chief Minister Gram Sadak Yojana, which has been a boon for rural population, has an overall target of constructing 30,000km of roads. So far, works for 22,360km have been sanctioned and work on 6,344km has been completed. For 2019-20, the target is 7,000km,” Mungantiwar said.

Under the Centre’s UDAN scheme, which aims to make air travel affordable, the government has planned development of airports in Nashik, Jalgaon, Solapur, Kolhapur, Amravati, Gondiya, Nanded, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. The plan has received an outlay of ₹65 crore.

In a bid to modernise the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), the state has allocated ₹101 crore for modernisation of 96 of the 592 bus stations in the state. Around 67 lakh people use ST buses daily. The MSRTC has been sanctioned ₹ 210 crore to procure 700 buses.

Mungantiwar said the land acquisition for the 701-km Mumbai-Nagpur expressway was completed in “record time” and ₹7,000 crore has been spent on land acquisition. The minister said the government is determined to speed up the Metro rail projects in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

Under the Smart Cities Mission, the state has proposed an outlay of ₹2,400 crore for projects in several cities in Maharashtra — Pune, Solapur, Kalyan-Dombivli, Nagpur, Nashik, Thane, Aurangabad and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 00:42 IST