Following a marathon, two-day review of over 700 ongoing National Highways projects in the country, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has identified about 300 projects for completion by March 2019. Of these, about 100 projects are likely to be completed by December 2018. Addressing media persons in New Delhi, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari informed that he, along with MoS Mansukh L Mandavia, had held extensive, state-wise review of the ongoing highways projects of 20 states in Goa earlier this week.
The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Ministry, NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) NHIDCL (National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd), the PWD Secretaries of respective states , Project Directors, Regional Officers, every Central and State Government official associated with the project and also the concessionaires/ contractors. Gadkari informed that they reviewed about 427 projects of NHAI and 311 projects of NHIDCL and the Road Transport Ministry covering 20 states over the two day period. 127 NHAI projects and 153 Ministry projects, which were scheduled for completion by June 2019, have now been targeted for expedited completion by March 2019. In addition, there are about 100 projects that are going to be completed by December 2018.
The construction target of NHAI for the year 2018-19 has been revised upwards from 5058 km to 6000 km , and the Minister expressed confidence that the organization would surpass this target. The Minister also informed that the projects of Maharashtra and the North Eastern states remain to be reviewed, and the meeting for this will be held soon. Delay in land acquisition and utility shifting, environment clearance and permission for cutting of trees have been identified as some of the main reasons for delay of highways projects.
The Minister lauded the performance of states like Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh in sorting out these issues and helping expedite the highways projects. States like Bihar and Odisha on the other hand, need to greatly improve their performance in this regard, he said.