NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Transport and Highways has identified 300 projects to be completed by March 2019, that were earlier slated to be finished by December 2019.
Union Minister of Road Transport and National Highways Nitin Gadkari said 100 of the identified projects would be completed by 2018-end. The decision was taken after Gadkari reviewed projects from 20 states and union territories at a meeting in Goa earlier this week.
Gadkari reviewed around 430 projects of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and 314 projects of the National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDC). Of these, 127 NHAI projects and 153 other projects associated with the ministry, scheduled for completion by December 2019, have been set a revised target of March 2019.
"This move can be seen as a part of the government's strategy keeping in view the elections in 2019. They want to project themselves as development-oriented. This is not a new phenomenon. Every government in power speeds up work ahead of polls," a transport ministry official said.
Gadkari also revised the NHAI's target for the year 2018-2019 from 5,058 km to 6,000 km. "I am confident that the NHAI will surpass this target," he said while adding that projects in Maharashtra and north eastern states are yet to be reviewed and similar targets would be set for them at a review meeting which would be held soon.
The minister also emphasized on the need for having regular monitoring meetings with concerned state officials for better implementation and expedition of the projects in various parts of the country.
He blamed erroneous Detailed Project Reports (DPRs ) for the delay in some projects. "Some DPRs are made without taking the ground reality into consideration. A list of such projects would be compiled and the consultants making these DPRs will be penalized and blacklisted," Gadkari said.