VISAKHAPATNAM: If everything goes according to the plans of the roads and buildings (R&B) department, the four-lane road between Vizag and Bheemili will be open to the public by 2017.
The R&B department has been entrusted with the task of the expanding the existing Vizag-Bheemili stretch of 9.6 kilometres between Ramadri and Bheemili at a cost of Rs 65 crore. So far, the department has spent nearly Rs 12 crore to complete up to five kilometres from Ramadri to Vizag.
Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who was minister for infrastructure and investment earlier, laid the foundation stone for the project on February 15, 2014, but the project was cancelled within in a short period due to various reasons. Later, the government proposed a new project and signed agreements with the R&B department on August 5, 2015 to complete the work by February 4, 2017.
Speaking to TOI, R&B executive engineer K Chandran said the black-tar (BT) layer of the completed five kilometre stretch is yet to be laid. The road will have three layers. Some works take a longer time to cover and they include three major and eight minor bridges besides 40 culverts within that 9.6 km long stretch, he explained.
“The project cost may rise nearly Rs 25 crore in addition to the sanctioned Rs 65 crore,” Chandran said while exuding confidence that they would be able to complete the work by the end of this calendar year. The road is of much importance as it is part of the government’s beach corridor from Ichchapuram in Srikakulam district to Tada in Nellore district along the coast of Bay of Bengal, the officer said.
In fact, the total length of the Vizag-Bheemili road is about 26 kilometres, of which the R&B department is developing the road from Ramadri to Bheemili. The road up to Ramadri from Vizag is already a four-lane covering the Fishing Harbour, RK Beach, Park Hotel, Appu Ghar, Kailasagiri, Visalakshinagar, Sagar Nagar, Gitam University and Rushikonda.
On the other hand, official sources at the collectorate said the state government is developing the road to ensure hassle free travel to the proposed greenfield international airport coming up at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district. The state government may incorporate the Vizag-Bheemili road project in its express highway proposal between Bheemili and Bhogapuram, sources said.
“As there is heavy traffic on the existing National Highway-16 from the outskirts of Visakhapatnam (Madhurawada) to Bhogapuram via Anandapuram and Tagarapuvalasa, the state government mooted the express highway between Bheemili and Bhogapuram besides the expansion of the Vizag and Bheemili stretch for safeguarding the interests of those travelling to the international airport,” a transport officer said while adding that there are about 18 busy junctions and accident prone areas on the existing NH-16 between Vizag and Bhogapuram. The travel time also takes nearly one and half hour to two hours during the peak hours.
This apart, a tourism officer said that the expansion of the Vizag-Bheemili road will also facilitate the tourism department as there are plenty of tourist places between Vizag and Bheemili.
Source By: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/