New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said a record 8,231 kilometres of national highways were built during 2016-17.
He also ordered fast-tracking of awarding and construction of national highway projects to further expedite them.
Gadkari’s directions came as he reviewed various projects of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) here.
The minister said that while a record 16,271 kilometres of national highways were awarded and 8,231 kilometres constructed during the last fiscal, work needs to be done at a much faster pace to award more projects and construct those that have been awarded.
He also announced that the best performing project director and regional officer would be awarded for their work.
In 2015-16, a total of 6,029 kilometres of national highways were constructed which was also the highest till that year.
Gadkari said the Mumbai-Vadodara, Bengaluru-Chennai and Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressways would be sanctioned by June 2017.
“Tender for 33 wayside amenities is also to be floated by June 2017. Electronic toll collection will be made available on all lanes on all toll plazas by March 31, 2018,” a statement from his office said.
Referring to the problem of land acquisition as one of the hurdles in implementation of projects, Gadkari called for “positive cooperation” from the state governments to tackle the issue.
He also called for expeditious resolution of issues like forest clearances and appointment of independent engineers.