The government on Wednesday approved a Rs 6,461-crore project for development of 1,120 km national highways in five states under NHIIP programme. “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of 1,120 km of National Highways in the states of Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal,” a statement from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said. The work for development to two-lane standards are under Phase-I of the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP) with World Bank assistance, it said. “The revised estimated cost is Rs 6,461 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities,” the statement said. The projects are already taken up for implementation and 429 km has been completed. The civil works are expected to be completed by July 2019, and maintenance works are expected to be completed by July, 2024. The project will ensure safe, fast and all weather movement of traffic on the proposed National Highways mostly located in backward regions thereby improving socio economic development. The proposal was initially approved for Rs 5,193 crore. The cost has increased due to higher bid prices, and increase in cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.