New Delhi: In an attempt to make the process for construction of railways over bridges simpler and to fast-track highway projects, the Narendra Modi government has taken a new step by bringing together Railways and Surface Transport Ministries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that key infrastructure ministries must meet once a month to resolve inter-ministerial issues relating to infrastructure projects.
On Tuesday, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari met Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda to ease clearances from both ministries for highway projects.
In the meeting between Gowda and Gadkari, it was agreed that processes for the clearances of the over-bridges will now be simplified and applications can now be made online. Secondly, the Railways will lease the land to the Surface Transport Ministry or the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on a one time lease agreement and the land that will be leased will not be on market rates.
The third important decision was that the maintenance cost that can range from anything from 30 to 40 per cent of the project itself will not be charged by the Ministry of Railways to the Surface Transport Ministry. Instead, NHAI that will bear the total cost of building the cost will also bear the cost of maintenance.
It was due to the lack of clearances of railways over-bridges project, many projects were held up and this was expected to speed up the process of building the highways further.