In a boost to the infrastructure sector, the ministry of road transport and highways has approved highway projects worth over Rs 40,000 crore.
These projects, to be implemented in the next couple of years, are in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and the Northeastern region.
“We have approved projects worth R20,000 crore for Jammu & Kashmir. They include 2-laning and 4-laning of National Highways in the state some roads projects in Leh and Ladakh and we will co-ordinate with the PWD (public works department) of the state for these projects,” minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said.
He said these projects will be complete in the coming two-and-a-half years and will encourage tourism in the state. The road ministry has also announced projects worth R15,000 crore in the north-eastern region comprising Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura. “Within three months, we will start work on those projects and preparation of DPRs (detailed project reports) has already started,” Gadkari said.
In Uttarakhand, which faced massive floods last year, the government has announced it would build a brand new road network. “We will set up a new highway network in the state and will invest R6,000 crore for that,” he said.
The government proposes to construct one-way roads in Himachal Pradesh.
“It is difficult to widen the existing roads, specifically between Kullu and Manali. Therefore, we have suggested that there will be one-way roads in the area,” he added.
On higher allocation for road projects in the Budget, Gadkari said: “We would seek more funds from the the finance minister.” However, he declined to share further details.
The minister, who reviewed over 250 road projects worth about R60,000 crore, said these highways are stuck, mainly due to reasons such as land acquisition and environment and forest clearance issues. These stalled projects would be up and running in the next three months. The ministry is trying to get faster clearances, Gadkari said.