Will complete 300 road projects by March 2019, says Nitin Gadkari
NEW DELHI: Union road minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that his ministry is targeting to complete some 300 highways projects by March 2019, just ahead of the general elections.
The government has decided to reduce time frame by three months of 300 projects scheduled for completion in June 2019, and now those are likely to be completed by March, Gadkari said.
But the minister insisted that the advancing of deadline to finish the projects has nothing to do with poll dates, but with an aim to deliver world class infrastructure projects with “no political interest” whatsoever. “…. We do not build roads motivated by political interest. Whatever is to happen will happen in the elections but this country should develop whether there is a government of BJP or Congress or any other party. Once a road is built it will benefit all, irrespective of who they voted for,” Gadkari said at a press conference.
To fast track some of the 300 projects that were originally scheduled to be completed by June 2019, the highways ministry has also reduced their completion timeframe has been reduced by three months. HT had on May 19 reported how the National Democratic Alliance government plans to showcase highway development as one of its biggest achievements in the infrastructure sector ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections with close to 200 road projects worth about Rs 1.5 lakh crore likely to be completed by mid-2019.
Giving a report card of the status of over 700 ongoing projects in 20 states, following a two-day review meeting in Goa that ended on Tuesday, Gadkari said that out of the 300 projects that the ministry is targeting to complete by March 2019, about 100 projects will be completed by December 2018.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are among the states the ghat have performed well in road construction with UP alone building projects worth Rs two lakh crore.
Gadkari said that he has told the chief secretaries of all states to hold monthly review meetings to expedite projects that are stuck.
To sort out any issues such as delays caused by land acquisition, chief general managers have been directed to visit the sites every ten days to see the progress on the ground, the minister added.
The minister said that he was hopeful that per day road construction target in 2018-19 will be more than 40km/day. The ministry has also revised the construction target of National Highways Authority of India from 5058 km to 6000 km.
Coming down on the consultants allegedly preparing faulty detailed project reports (DPRS), Gadkari said it was one of the reasons causing the delays.