VISAKHAPATNAM: The long-pending two major road projects, costing Rs 2,700 crore, will be grounded shortly to ensure seamless traffic and check hundreds of road accident deaths in Visakhapatnam.
The long awaited six-laning of the national highway between Anakapalle and Anandapuram and four-lane road between Sheelanagar Port connectivity road and Sabbavaram Junction are being taken up by the National Highway Authority of India as a composite project to ensure smooth heavy vehicle traffic to the port.
Though the Union Surface Ministry has identified the NH stretch between Anakapalle and Anandapuram as one of the most important projects, it takes over a decade for getting all the sanctions. With all the approvals obtained, the officials are making efforts to invite tenders shortly.
During the past one and a half decades, the heavy vehicle traffic has increased by leaps and bounds on the one and only road. The VPT has invested huge money and developed an exclusive road and a flyover was constructed connecting Sheelanagar junction and Convent Junction to reduce the traffic burden on the city traffic.
However, the heavy vehicle traffic on the only road from Anakapalle to Sheelanagar via Kurmannapalem and Gajuwaka is hampering the regular traffic. To ease the issues, the VPT has initiated an exclusive road to be laid from Sheelanagar to Sabbavaram Junction at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore.
The Sabbavaram Junction is on the NH-5 between Anakapalle and Anandapuram. Though the NHAI developed the four-lane NH-5 between Tada and Kolkata, about a 50-km stretch from Anakapalle to Anandapuram has been pending for the last 12 years.
On an average 230 deaths have been reported per annum on the busy narrow road. The Surface Transport Ministry directed the NHAI to take up the project on priority.
The VPT has also tied up with the NHAI to construct the four-lane road between Sheelanagar and Sabbavaram Junction connecting the ensuing six-lane NH-5. The NHAI has planned to complete the mega project by 2018.
“Once the project is completed, the heavy vehicles will ply via Anakapalle, Sabbavaram Junction, Sheelangar, Convent Junction, Ambedakr Statue to reach the port, including Container Terminal.
As this road is exclusively for the port operations, the regular traffic won’t be disrupted. The regular traffic to the city via Aganampudi and Gajuwaka will not have any bottlenecks as there will be a flyover at Sheelanagar Junction,” a senior engineer of the VPT said. The entire project is a special purpose vehicle and the NHAI will construct and maintain the road, he added.
There will be a major relief to the city traffic, particularly between Anakapalle and NAD Junction, with the VPT’s four-lane road from Sheelanagar connecting the Sabbavaram Junction to Anakapalle-Anandapuram six-lane NH. The VPT road is also being taken up by the NHAI.
The NHAI has invited tenders for construction of the Rs 2,400-crore Anakapalle-Anandapuram highway. The VPT is spending about Rs 500 crore for its four-lane road.