In a rare feat, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari prepones deadline of 300 infra projects by 3 months

In a rare feat, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari prepones deadline of 300 infra projects by 3 months
300 infrastructure projects scheduled to be completed by June 2019 will now be completed before March 2019, Gadkari announced (Representational Image)

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday announced the government’s decision to reduce time frame of 300 projects scheduled for completion in June 2019 by three months. The projects will now be completed by March next year.

The move, which comes at a time when less than a year has been left for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gadkari said is aimed at fast-tracking schemes to deliver world-class infrastructure to people with no “political interest”.

He said the sole intention of the government was to work on a “mission mode” to boost development.

“All projects which were scheduled to be completed by June 2019, will be completed before March 2019 … We have given this target to everyone,” the road transport and highways minister said.

Gadkari, who was addressing the media following a two-day review of over 700 ongoing National Highways projects in 20 states, said the ministry has identified about 300 projects for completion by March 2019.

Of these, about 100 projects are likely to be completed by December 2018.

To a query whether shortening the deadline was to derive political mileage, the minister said, “We do not build roads motivated by political interest”, and added “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”.

Quipping “Jo vote dega uska bhi bhala hoga jo nahi dega uska bhi bhala hoga (those who cast vote (in favour of BJP) will benefit and those who do not cast will also benefit”, the minister emphasised that roads were build for all irrespective of caste, creed, religion or party.

Regretting that delayed land acquisition, lack of timely clearances and other factors led to delays in project he said, steps are on to address these and the government is expected to surpass the target of 40 km a day road building by March 2019.

The per day road building comes to about 27 km at present.

While lauding Uttar Pradesh for excellent works as far as highway building is concerned, the minister said the state witnessed projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore and added that performance of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh were also good.

Gadkari who reviewed 427 projects of NHAI and 311 projects of NHIDCL and the Road Transport Ministry said the construction target of NHAI for the year 2018-19 has been revised upwards from 5,058 km to 6,000 km.

With agency inputs

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