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Vijayapura (Karnataka): The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has achieved a rare feat by completing a single lane of the four-lane stretch of 25.54 km being developed between Vijaypur-Solapur (NH 52) in a record time of 18 hours, Union minister for Road Transport, Highways Nitin Gadkari said on his Twitter handle.

"This quick work will be added to the Limca Book of Records. I congratulate workers and the project director of NHAI, other officials, representatives of the company," he said.

This road is part of the high density traffic corridor Bengaluru-Chitradurga-Vijayapura-Solapur-Aurangabad-Dhule-lndore-Gwalior.

According to Gadkari about 500 employees of the contractor company worked hard for this. "Along with these employees, I congratulate the National Highways Authority project manager, officers, all the representatives of the contractor company and the project officers," Gadkari said.

An official from the NHAI, on the condition of anonymity, told reporters that "In total 25.54 km of road asphalting work has been carried out in 18 hours. It is not done end-to-end but they have done it in five different places at the same time."

The official added that initially it was planned to take-up only blacktop work for a 20 km stretch of single lane in 12 hours but it was later extended for another 5.5 km on the same lane, which took another six hours to complete.

The Solapur-Vijyapur highway was formerly known as the National Highway connecting Maharashtra and Karnataka. The bypass four lane road will be constructed between Solapur and Vijaypur. The route will also have six flyovers.

"At present, work on 110 km of Solapur-Vijayapur Highway is in progress. The work will be completed by October 2021," Gadkari tweeted.

While praising the work of the NHAI, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol said, "This rare feat will definitely set a benchmark in the ongoing and upcoming projects. I congratulate the entire team on completing the 25.54-km lane asphalting in 18 hours. The work was launched when Ramesh Jigajinagi was the union minister of state."

He added that this highway connects southern India with northern India and its development will serve as an alternative route to the North-South Corridor of the National Highways Development Programme.

"The development of four lanes with bypasses at Solapur, Bijapur and construction of six flyovers would greatly reduce travel time and vehicle operating costs as well as help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Maharashtra and Karnataka states," he added in a statement.

In the presence of officials of the Limca Book of Records, the NHAI took the asphalt work in five different stretches between Vijayapur-Solapur national highways on Thursday. Among the five stretches three are in Karnataka - Dhulked, Horatti Tanda, and Tidagundi, and the remaining two are in Maharashtra.

The work was carried out by the NHAI, Project Director Sanjay Kadam, IGM director Venkatesh Rao, and IGM team leader K. Siddanagouda.

Earlier, a new World Record was created for the laying of pavement quality concrete (PQC) for a four-lane highway of 2,580 meters length within 24 hours. It was achieved in India during the construction of the country's flagship greenfield expressway, the Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai project.

The Union cabinet had approved the four-laning of the Solapur-Vijayapur section of the new National Highway-52 connecting Maharashtra and Karnataka at an estimated cost of Rs 1,889 crore in 2017.

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