The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that interlinking of rivers and protection of rivers is a sacred duty of everyone in the country. He was addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone for the improvement of National Highways project and Inland Water Way project, in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh today. The Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Y.S. Chowdary and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. Vice President laid foundation stone for six national highway projects and dedicated seven national highway projects, costing Rs. 4153 crore in Andhra Pradesh.
He also laid foundation stone for development of an Inland Water Way in the Krishna River between Muktyala and Vijayawada in the Andhra Pradesh capital region of Amaravati. The Vice President said that in Andhra Pradesh till 2014, the total length of National Highway was 4193 km and 3720 km of New NHs have been declared after 2014 and now the present the length of NH in Andhra Pradesh is 7913 km. A total investment planned in Andhra Pradesh is Rs 1 Lakh Crore for development of National Highways under various Schemes, he added. The Vice President said that a two lane with paved shoulder of Rayachoty to Angallu section of NH-340 in a Length of 57.98Km costing Rs.319.28Cr will be taken up. He further said that construction of 4-lane bypass to Vizianagaram Town on NH 43 in a length of 17.2 Km costing Rs.429.43 Cr will also be taken up under these projects.
A two lane with paved shoulder of Eeppurupalem-Ongole section of NH 216 in a length of 57.87Km costing Rs.574.19 Cr is also under consideration, he added. The Vice President said that the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme which linked Krishna and Godavari rivers saved Krishna delta from a drought-like situation arising from water scarcity in river Krishna. He further said that more and more interlinking of rivers will be beneficial for farmers who feed the nation. Everyone should take active part in this noble cause, he added. The Vice President congratulated the Chief Minister for making Telugu language mandatory in schools. He advised the state government to make knowledge of Telugu compulsory to get jobs in Andhra Pradesh and also to make it as mandatory subject for all students irrespective of medium of language the school adopts in the state. He was not against learning other languages but only want people to be proficient enough in their own mother tongue before pursuing other languages, he added.