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Web site on highways launched -- New road policy on cards

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, June 17

THE Tamil Nadu Government will soon launch a highways development programme and formulate a new road policy. It has launched a new Web site, tnhighways.org, highlighting the efforts of the highways department in improving road infrastructure, details about the existing facilities and providing other information of interest to the road users. According to an official press release, the Web site was launched on Monday, and is in line with the State Government's initiative in enhancing transparency in Government procedures.

The Web site provides details about the existing road network, the policies, public charter, procedures in implementing various works, contact information, administrative details, draft road policy and road safety policy.

According to information provided on the Web site, the Government will soon launch the Chief Minister's Highway Development Programme, a comprehensive plan for upgradation and maintenance of all Government roads.

The programme will source funds from road funds, private sector, domestic and external borrowings and budgetary allocation.

It will be a five-year phased programme with stress on integrated maintenance and upgradation contracts.

It envisages that all the State highway roads will be upgraded to double-lane-paved-shoulder configuration, district roads to two-lane-hard-shoulder specification and rehabilitation and maintenance of other-district-roads and reconstruction of 304 bridges.

A new road policy is under formulation looking into all aspects of highway construction, maintenance and management of road structures.

It will include engineering, economic, environmental and social impacts due to land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation of project affected persons (PAPs), tree planting, wayside amenities, bus bays and truck terminals, road safety, training, research and development.

It will also focus on institutional strengthening of the department, and capacity building among engineers, consultants and contractors.

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