ANI Photo | Bengaluru-Chennai express highway to start by January next year, says Nitin Gadkari 

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari addressed the 75th anniversary of Ashok Leyland Limited in Chennai Trade Centre and said the progress of National Highways projects in Chennai has been reviewed by him and the Bengaluru-Chennai Express Highway will start by this year-end or first month of next year. 
“We are developing 36 green express highway and we are connecting Chennai to delhi…I reviewed the progress of National Highways projects in Chennai today. The Bengaluru-Chennai express highway will start by this year-end or January 2024…So, you can launch luxury buses and sleeper coaches in this sector…you can reduce the ticket rate by 30 per cent because the fuel cost will be very less…” said Nitin Gadkari.
Gadkari further said, “…from Manali to Ladakh and Leh we are already making 5-6 tunnels and roads…70 per cent work is completed in Zoji-la Tunnel which is going to be the longest tunnel in Asia (11.8 km)…We are in the process of making 18 tunnels from Sri Nagar to Jammu, out of which 14 tunnels have already been completed…”
“…we are connecting Delhi to Chennai via Surat, Nasik, Ahmednagar, Kurnool, Chennai (and beyond), Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi (and also to) Bengaluru and Hyderabad, through the access-controlled highways project,” said Gadkari. 
Earlier, in July, Nitin Gadkari said that the central government has set a provisional target for the construction of about 13,800 kilometre National Highways (NHs) in 2023-24. 
Against the set target for the year, 2250 km has already been constructed till June 2023, he said.
Gadkari was asked whether the construction material used for road construction was of better quality than that used earlier.
“Construction material used for road construction work now is of better strength/quality as compared to those used earlier. A few examples are the soil of higher CBR, bitumen/modified bitumen of higher modulus, high strength concrete, high strength steel, etc.,” Gadkari said in the written reply in Lok Sabha.
The total length of national highways in India has increased by about 59 per cent in the past nine years – since the current government came into power, the minister earlier said and noted that the country now has the second-largest road network after the US as a result

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