Potential to work on Rs 25 lakh crore highway projects
Asserting that most irritants have been sorted out in the highway sector, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said there is now a potential to work on projects worth Rs 25 lakh crore.
“We have addressed most of the problems like land acquisition and delays in forest and environment clearances… Now, it is expected that work in the highways sector will gain pace of expressways… We have potential to do work worth Rs 25 lakh crore,” the Road Transport and Highways Minister said at an event.
“Projects worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore have been executed in the initial two years of the NDA rule. The pace has been slow as the sector is saddled with numerous issues like problems in land acquisition, utility shifting and delays in forest and environment clearances, a majority of which have been addressed,” reported by PTI.
“Soon, we will achieve the status of ‘zero problem’ ministry,” Gadkari asserted, attributing it to a slew of steps to expedite projects that include 21 policy decisions and the move not to award any project without 80 per cent land acquisition.
Urging officials for some “out-of-the-box” thinking to accelerate projects in the sector, the minister said that out of the Rs 25 lakh crore investment the government is expecting in roads, ports and shipping, Rs 8 lakh crore are proposed in setting up of 27 industrial clusters at ports.
Another Rs 5 lakh crore will be spent on road, railway and port connectivity projects while Rs 1 lakh crore is marked for setting up 8 new ports.
The work on 3 of the proposed 8 new ports will start this year, he said.
Referring to the ministry’s efforts bearing fruit, Gadkari cited the example of national highways, length of which has reached 1.55 lakh km, from 97,000 km when the government took over. He hoped it would soon reach 2 lakh km milestone.
“Massive work is also being done on the waterways front and detailed project reports are being worked out for converting 111 rivers into waterways,” he said.