Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari today reviewed greenfield expressway and highways projects worth Rs 3.26 lakh crore, currently under various stages of development across various parts of the country.
Gadkari asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure timely implementation as well as have a plan for timely monetisation of the upcoming greenfield projects in place, even as the minister was apprised of the various challenges being faced in implementation such as land acquisition and environment clearances.
The projects that were reviewed by the minister are five greenfield expressways and seventeen access-controlled greenfield highways, which are part of the Bharatmala project. The 22 projects having a total length of 8,000 kilometres are expected to cost Rs 3.26 lakh crore.
"A detailed presentation on the present status of award, bidding, and hindrances related to pre-construction activities especially land acquisition, environmental clearance/forest clearance was made by NHAI before the minister," said a press release from the ministry of road transport and highways. During the review, Gadkari emphasised that issues related to various state governments may be sorted out quickly and wherever required the state specific matter may be taken up at his level.
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The projects that were reviewed are Delhi-Mumbai greenfield expressway, and others like Delhi-Katra, Bengaluru-Chennai, Delhi-Dehradun, Nagpur Vijayawada and Indore-Hyderabad, among others.
All the 22 projects are scheduled to be completed by 2023 and 2025 and the minister asked the authorities to stick to the completion deadline. "Gadkari also laid stress on timely monetisation of projects after completion as well as value capture by developing facilities for road users along the upcoming highways. He directed that stringent monitoring of the target dates of award of projects and scheduled dates of completion be done without any compromise with the quality of work in order to develop world class highway infrastructure," said the ministry release.
As of March 31 this year, highway contracts worth Rs 9,22,404 crore are under implementation. The ministry has constructed 13,298 km in 2020-21, which translates into 36 km per day. Gadkari has earlier said that India will construct highways at a pace of 40 km per day in the current financial year.
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