Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that road projects of Rs 50,000 crore would be completed by 2023 in Madhya Pradesh and assured that in two years the state would have a world-class highways network. The Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister inaugurated and laid foundation stone of 45 highway projects worth Rs 11,427 crore in the state through video conference. Gadkari said the aim was to complete projects worth Rs 50,000 crore out of Rs 1.25 lakh crore by 2023.
"The face of Madhya Pradesh will change in two years from now as far as world-class highways network is concerned. Highway projects entailing an investment of Rs 1.25 lakh crore are underway in the state at present. About 70 per cent work of projects worth Rs 30,000 crore have been completed. Our target is to complete projects worth Rs 50,000 crore by 2023," Gadkari said.
The minister inaugurated 26 projects of 992 km entailing investing of Rs 8,818 crore. He also laid the foundation stone of 19 projects for building 369 km of highways at an estimated cost of Rs 2,609 crore. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Union ministers Thavarchand Gehlot and Narendra Singh Tomar, Pralhad Singh Patel, Faggan Singh Kulaste and VK Singh and a large number of central and state officials besides MPs and MLAs attended the event.
Promising that the foundation stone for the proposed Rs 8,000 crore Chambal Expressway, to be built on a unique Centre-state partnership, will be laid as early as possible, Gadkari asked the chief minister to expedite land acquisition for the project besides providing aggregates and exemption of GST for 358 km project.
"Detailed project report for the expressway will be finalised soon and Bhoomi Pujan will be done as early as possible," Gadkari said. Asserting that the proposed expressway could be a game changer for the poor and tribals living in far-flung areas of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the Union minister said it will provide cross-connectivity with the Golden Quadrilateral's Delhi-Kolkata corridor, North-South Corridor, East-West Corridor and Delhi-Mumbai-Expressway. The expressway will offer huge employment potential in these districts and adjoining areas, he said.
About the proposed Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai expressway project, the minister said 244 km of this project, entailing an investment of Rs 8,214 crore will pass through the state and urged the chief minister to ensure that mining permission is given at the earliest. He said not only this project passing through a new alignment will develop the tribal areas in the state but also create huge employment opportunities. The project is slated to complete in 2023 and reduce the travel time from Delhi to Mumbai to 12 hours.
He urged Chouhan to come up with detailed plans for development of industrial clusters, way side amenities and other projects besides asking him to ensure that the compensation provided for the land acquisition to the state government by NHAI is handed over to the affected persons at the earliest. At the same time the minister said that the concerned MPs from the state could chalk out strategies for establishing a driving centre in each district of the state as the country faced a shortage of about 22 lakh drivers.
He also announced two logistics parks in the state at Indore and Jabalpur on build, operate and transfer basis. Addressing the function, Chouhan said construction, strengthening and widening of roads besides bridge construction will not only increase connectivity but also save the time and fuel.
Chouhan sought more funds worth Rs 182-crore for the upgradation of highways passing from the towns after the construction of bypass roads. He also urged Gadkari to approve the Narmada Expressway project from Amarakntak to Gujrat borders. Chouhan said that the industrial clusters will also be developed along this expressway proposed along Narmada river.
Chouhan also sought help and guidance for the development of Ram Van Gaman Path — a project that seeks to retrace the route believed to have been taken by Lord Ram on his way to exile. Gadkari said that detailed project reports are being prepared for 4,080 km projects entailing an investment of Rs 35,000 crore under Bharatmala Pariyojna, including 121 km Ram Van Gaman Marg extension and famous Sharda Shaktipeet (Maihar temple) in the state.
Besides, he said that long stuck Rs 1,192 crore Sidhi Singrauli project will be completed in two years by terminating the existing contract and completing the remaining 30 per cent work by Centre. The project awarded in 2013 could not be completed. He said 17 big projects in the state will be completed in the current fiscal and added that the length of National Highways which was 5,186 km in 2014 in the state have more than doubled to 13,248 km now.