National Highways Across Telangana
National Highways Across Telangana

Hyderabad: The state government’s ambitious plan to convert roads along a stretch of 1,800 km roads into national highways across Telangana could be delayed by two years as officials are yet to submit DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, despite the Centre giving its consent to upgrade these roads nearly six months ago.

As the Centre assured Telangana to strengthen the road network under the 13th Schedule in the AP Reorganisation Act after division of Andhra Pradesh, the TS government had submitted proposals to the Union Ministry in 2014 and got an approval in February this year.

Senior officials of the Roads & Buildings department said that finalisation of DPRs for eight national highway projects out of the 12 sanctioned were still pending due to non-availability of land for upgrading the existing two-lane roads in to four-lane roads.

For instance, between Hyderabad – Bhainsa (via Medak- Bodhan - Banswada) covering 230 km stretch, officials have identified several curves for which huge land is required and the department is conducting a study to check availability of land. Also, acquisition of forest lands along this stretch is likely to become a big hurdle.    

The proposed highways between Warangal and Khammam (covering 120 km) and Suryapeta- Khammam- Aswaraopeta (177 km) also require huge tracts of land for road expansion. But, the availability of land is meagre in view of increased urbanisation. In Khammam district, the availability of land is almost nil. Officials clarified that that DPRs cannot be finalised without looking in to the availability of land.

"On several stretches, the expansion of the existing two lanes into four lanes has been ruled out because of severe paucity of land. The R&B (national highways wing) is busy conducting surveys to prepare alternative plans. It will take another two or three months to finalise DPRs and forward the same to the Union ministry,” an official told The Hans India.

As per procedure, after submission of DPRs, the Union ministry would conduct a preliminary study. Based on the study, the DPRs would be approved and the cost of each project would be finalised. Later, the Centre would issue a notification for the development of the highways under public private partnership.

The new highways sanctioned to Telangana state are  - Hyderabad – Medak- Bodhan- Bhanswada- Bhimsa covering 230 km stretch, Nizampet- Narayankhed – Bidar (50 km), Suryapeta- Khammam- Aswaraopeta (177 km),  Khanapur via Mallapur to Jagityal (87 km), Madnur – Bodhan- Nizamabad (75 km) , Hyderabad – Moinabad- Kodangal (133), Kodada- Miryalaguda- Devarakonda- Kalwakurthy- Jadcharla(220 km), Karimnagar- Siricilla-Kamareddy- Pitlam (149 km),  Mancherial to Chandrapur in Maharashtra (90 km) , Siricilla – Siddipet- Jangaon – Suryapeta (192 km) , Warangal to Khammam (120 km)  and  Sarapaka – Eturnagaram- Tupakulaguda , Chennuru – Sirpur on 300 km stretch would be improved as national highway.

After the Centre's approval, highway density has been increased to 3.7 km per one lakh square km from the present 2.4 km in Telangana, higher than the national average of  3.06 km per one lakh square km. The total length of national highways has been increased to 4,423 km from the existing 2,573 km in Telangana.

By: Patan Afzal Babu