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DPR for NH-16 widening by May-end

Visakhapatnam: The road widening project involving the 48-km national highway stretch from Anandapuram to Anakapalli via Sabbavaram, which was mooted almost eight years ago, has finally gained momentum with the district administration discussing it with officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
District collector N Yuvaraj and Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) chairman MT Krishna Babu met the concerned NHAI officials, who gave a power point presentation regarding the project on Friday. The detailed project report (DPR) is to be submitted by the end of this month and the collector has asked all the concerned departments to submit their objections if any with details regarding land issues.
According to the power point presentation, the project will cover 21 villages from Anandapuram to Sabbavaram and 14 villages from Sabbavaram to Anakapalli. Sources said the long-pending proposal has been hanging fire due to a tussle between the successive state governments and the Union government. However, it began to move once Union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and Anakapalli MP M Srinivas intervened.
The state government is willing to maintain the existing national highway passing through the city from Kommadi to Lankekalapalem. The NHAI will hand over this stretch to the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation once the widening project is complete, sources said.
According to sources, the cost of the project when it was mooted stood at Rs 500 crore. But now it has reportedly crossed Rs 1,000 crore. “Initially, the cost was Rs 15 crore per kilometre as per NHAI estimates. We don’t have any idea regarding the exact cost of the project now, but it has surely increased to at least twice the initial amount. The DPR for the alignment part has been completed and the final DPR will be submitted by the end of May once the objections sent by the departments are looked into,” the collector told TOI.
He further said as per the proposal, there would be two service roads on either side of the stretch that will have no toll gates. The four-lane highway stretch would have only four exchange areas. That means once a motorist enters the highway, he will have to exit from only those exchange areas.
According to sources, the state government is keen on this project as the development of the existing National Highway-16 that goes through the city into a six-lane road will cost the government thousands of crores as the structures on both sides of the road have to be demolished and the government has to pay compensation for the land as well as those structures.
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