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Ahead of Tirupati Bypoll, Centre approves big infra projects for AP

The works of 465 km NH 130CD, part of Visakhapatnam-Raipur Economic Corridor, are set to gain pace with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways approving two six-lane packages of the highway at a cost of more than Rs. 1,500 crore.
 
Another project of widening and strengthening National Highway 42 to four-lane in Anantapur town with Rs. 311 crore was also approved by the Union ministry. In a series of tweets announcing the approval of the projects, the office of Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Rs. 824 crore was approved for Sabbavaram to Kantakapalle under Raipur-Visakhapatnam Economic Corridor in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Similarly, another Rs. 772 crore was approved for development of a six-lane highway between Korlam and Kantakapalle under the corridor. Of the 465 km highway, 100 km will be in Andhra Pradesh and the remaining part of it is in Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. Of the 100 km stretch in AP, 5 km is in Visakhapatnam and 95 km in Vizianagaram, according to NHAI sources. Once the highway is completed, it will reduce the travel time from Vizag to Raipur from 12 to 8 hours. The distance will also come down from 560 to 465 km. 
 
Sources said while the total cost of Visakhapatnam-Raipur Economic Corridor was Rs 14,000 crore, the stretch in AP was estimated to cost Rs 2,700 crore.
  
The 100 km stretch has been divided into four packages and will be taken up simultaneously. The four packages of 99.6 km stretch include Sabbavaram to Kantakapalle, Kantakapalle to Korlam, Korlam to Jattua and Jattua to Alur.
 
According to government sources, land acquisition will be completed on a fast-track basis and the project is expected to be completed within two years.The Union Minister also approved another highway project work of widening and strengthening to four lane of urban link of NH 42 in Anantapur town worth Rs. 311.93 crore.
 
Political analysts, however, point out that given that the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant privatisation is bringing negativity to the Centre, it is looking at diverting the protests and narrative to the projects by sanctioning them. Looks like everything is politics at the end of the day! 

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