India’s longest flyover opens

Traffic jams and the hassles of getting to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport located on the outskirts of Hyderabad are now a thing of the past, thanks to the P V Narasimha Rao Expressway — country's longest flyover — that was inaugurated on Monday.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah had postponed the inauguration after a controversy over renaming the expressway after YSR instead of PVR. Saying that former prime minister Rao was to be blamed for the demolition of Babri Masjid, the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) had opposed naming the expressway after him. But the government decided against it and retained it as PVNR Expressway.

The 11.6 km long elevated expressway will cut commuting time by 45 minutes. Built at a cost of Rs 600 crore, it starts at Sarojini Naidu Eye Hospital at Mehdipatnam and connects NH-7 at Aramgarh Junction from where one can take an underpass and go directly to the airport. Two and three-wheelers, cargo carriers and slow-moving vehicles are prohibited on the expressway.

Work on the expressway started in October 2005 and was supposed to be completed in 28 months, but the project got delayed due to cost overruns and financial crunch. Late chief minister YSR Reddy, who laid the foundation stone, was supposed to inaugurate it on October 2. After his demise in the chopper crash on September 2, the government put off the inauguration.

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