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Naidu launches national highway, waterway projects in Andhra Pradesh

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Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated or laid the foundation stones  for several National Highway projects and a project for development of the Muktyala-Vijayawada stretch of Krishna River (National Waterway – 4) at a function here yesterday.
 
Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari, Andhra Pradesh Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Seven national highway (NH) projects were dedicated to the nation and foundation stones were laid for six NH projects in Andhra Pradesh, the total cost of all the projects being Rs. 4,193 crore, an official press release said.
 
Foundation stone for the Phase-I for development of Krishna River (National Waterway -4) was also laid. In the first phase of the project, the stretch between Muktayala and Vijayawada will be developed for transportation. The total project cost is Rs. 7,015 crore and the length of the waterway 315 km.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Naidu said interlinkingof rivers and protection of rivers was the sacred duty of everyone in the country.
 
He said that, in Andhra Pradesh till 2014, the total length of national highways was 4193 km and 3720 km of new highways have been declared since then. Total investment of Rs. 1 lakh crore is planned for development of national highways under various schemes in Andhra Pradesh, he said.
 
He said the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, which linked Krishna and Godavari rivers, saved Krishna delta from a drought-like situation arising from water scarcity in river Krishna. He said that more and more interlinking of rivers will be beneficial for farmers who feed the nation. Everyone should take active part in this noble cause, he said.
 
Mr. Naidu congratulated the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for making Telugu language mandatory in schools. He advised the state government to make knowledge of Telugu compulsory to get jobs in Andhra Pradesh and also to make it a mandatory subject for all students, irrespective of the medium of instruction school adopts, in the state. He said he was not against learning other languages but only wanted people to be proficient in their own mother tongue before pursuing other languages.
 
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Mr. Gadkari said  that the Union Government would spend more than Rs. 1 lakh crore on improving national highways in Andhra Pradesh and it would give a tremendous boost to the development of the state. He said a six-lane access controlled greenfield Amaravathi Expressway will be built to connect the new capital city Amaravathi with Anantapur and also provide connectivity to Kurnool and Kadapa. The project has been approved  with a total length of 557 km and cost of about Rs. 25,000 crore. 
 
He added that the Andhra Pradesh Government is preparing the detailed project report (DPR) and it is in the process of acquiring land.
 
The Minister also said that under Sagaramala programme, several port-related projects would be taken up in the state. The capacity of the Visakhapatnam port would be expanded. Visakhapatnam-Chennai industrial corridor was another major project which would benefit the state enormously and it would be taken up expeditiously, he added.
 
Mr. Gadkari  gave assurance that the Polavaram irrigation project would  be completed before the next General Election in 2019 and the Union Government would render all necessary assistance to the State Government for the purpose.
 
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister thanked the Union Minister and said he was confident that Polavaram project would be completed on time, with the Centre's assistance.
 
NNN
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