VIZIANAGARAM:The long-pending demand and need of the people of Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam for a four-lane road between the two places has finally become a reality. With a swift move and pressure from Union Aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the Central government has sanctioned Rs 84.12 crore for widening of NH43 into four lanes from Rajapulova to Chelluru, covering a distance of 11.6 km. People of the region have been demanding for the road for the past one-and-half decade now.
Though the National Highway had been developed into four lanes from Tada to Kolkata, the small portion towards Vizianagaram was not developed yet. In fact, the national highway splits at Rajapulova Junction towards Vizianagaram, with the highway leading towards Srikakulam and beyond currently. Commuters plying between Vizianagaram and Rajapulova are facing many troubles due to this. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, after becoming the Union minister, had put pressure on the Union minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari to sanction necessary funds for the project. After all the administration approvals and sanctions, Gadkari granted the funds and directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to take up the works.
Subsequently, when the NHAI proposed a toll-gate on the road, Ashok Gajapathi Raju rejected it, as it would cause financial inconvenience to the rural populace of Vizianagaram district. Finally, the Central government sanctioned the funds for the road, without a toll-gate.
The Centre has also sanctioned Rs 230 crore in the Union Budget 2015-16 for a by-pass road from Chelluru to Gotlam, covering 17.5 km. An approach road to the Manapuram Road Over Bridge will be laid at a cost of Rs 40 crore.
Meanwhile, there has been a long-pending demand for a rail over bridge and an approach road at Sitanagaram. Almost a 6 km-long Salur By-pass Road would cost Rs 40 crore including Rs 9 crore for land acquisition and Rs 15.40 crore for approach roads.