Bengaluru,( December 19)- Union Minister of Highways and Road Transports and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Jairam Gadkari today said that, Government of India will come out with an Ethanol policy which would protect the interest of farmers, especially sugarcane and paddy growers. He was speaking after laying foundation stone and dedicating a total of 33 National Highway projects worth Rs. 10,904 crore covering 1,197 kilometer length in a virtual event held today.He said that the Government is very well aware of the plight of sugarcane growers and paddy growers. Sugar and rice production are surplus in the country and therefore Government of India intends to encourage production of ethanol from Sugarcane and rice to support the farmers. During his address, he said that Ministry of Highways and Road Transports will invest approximately an amount of Rs. 1,16,144 Crore in Karnataka State in coming years. Under Bharatmala and other schemes, 19 works at a cost of Rs. 31,035 Crore are already under progress.

He explained in detail about the Highway projects in progress and that in the pipeline, “In order to provide smooth connectivity to the ports for the benefit of trade and economy, 433 laning of the entire coastal road from Goa border to Kerala border connecting port city of Belekeri, Karwar and Mangalore covering a length of 278 km have been taken up at a cost of Rs. 3443 crore and the work has substantially been completed. Keeping in view the safety of road users, 3 works for improving the safety by providing protective measures on hill slopes in Shiradi Ghat on NH 75, Charmadi Ghat on NH 73 and Sampaje Ghat on NH 275 have been sanctioned amounting to Rs. 115 Crore.

He also said that final feasibility report on setting up Multimodal Logistic Park in Muddalingenahalli near Dabaspet is expected during February 2021. This project will improve the logistics efficiency, thus enabling reduction in logistics cost.Three projects in length of 76 kms in Karnataka in Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway, which is identified as one of the priority projects under Chennai – Bengaluru Industrial Corridor has been approved and bids are invited, Mr. Gadkari told.

DPR is approved for the construction of Tunnel for Shiradi Ghat for a length of 23.60 Km with a tentative cost of Rs. 10,000 crore after vetting from IISc. Bid document, statutory clearances and land acquisition plans are under progress, he said.

He said that Ministry of Highways and Road Transports has approved release of Rs. 218 crore under CRIF and the amount will be released soon after the utilization certificate is submitted for the amount of Rs. 217 crore released in first instalment this year. Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said that the investment of Rs. 1.16 lakh crore for Highway development by Government of India would help to boost the economy of the State. On this occasion Chief Minister appealed to Union Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari to release adequate grants to take up flood damage repair works as Karnataka has suffered severe damages to infrastructure including National Highways.

He also sought to expedite the improvement of all congested intersections of National Highways connecting Bengaluru City, Up-gradation of existing 4 lane National Highway from Bangalore to Tumkur Section to 8-lane with service Road.

Chief Minister assured that he would press upon all Deputy Commissioners for the speedy disposal of pending cases regarding land acquisitions to speed up the highway projects. Former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda, Union Ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Prahlada Joshi, Union Minister of State of Highways and Road Transports Gen. Dr. V.K. Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Govind M. Karjol, Rajyasabha Member Mallikarjuna Kharge addressed the gathering at this virtual event. Ministers, MPs and legislators and senior officers of Government of India and Government of Karnataka were present.