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Govt to speed up road construction to 30 km a day

Nitin Gadkari

N GadkariNew Delhi: In what could speed up highway construction, the government plans to build 30 kilometres of roads a day two years from now, after clearing the backlog.

“Right now, the total road construction has gone down… Road projects worth about Rs 60,000 crore are stuck, mainly due to reasons such as land acquisition and environment and forest clearances,” Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.

The stalled projects would be up and running in the next three months. The ministry is trying to get faster clearances, Gadkari said.

“When these projects start, some will take one year or more to complete. Right now, the average construction is to the tune of three km per day. After two years, I aim to take this target to 30 km per day,” Gadkari said.

He said the government will build these roads by awarding engineering, procurement and construction contracts.

The previous government’s 20-km per day target was set in 2009 by then Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath. However, less than half that goal was achieved due to hurdles such as delays in getting environment and forest clearances and land acquisition.

Gadkari, who also holds the shipping, rural development, panchayati raj and drinking water and sanitation portfolios, said he will head a group that will review the progress of the civil aviation and railway ministries, along with roads and ports, on a monthly basis.

“Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary will also be part of that group, the first meeting of which will be taken by me in the next 10 days,” he said.


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