Govt targeting Rs1,00,000-cr investment in road projects in North East: Gadkari

23 March 2016

The government has targeted road construction involving an expenditure of Rs1,00,000 crore in the North East, which is also of strategic importance to the country, minister or road transport, highways and shipping, Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

"There is a target to award road projects worth Rs1,00,000 crore in the North East during the next five years," Gadkari said.

The minister was addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his ministry in New Delhi last evening to discuss the functioning of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd ( NHIDCL) and the issue of road safety.

NHIDCL made a presentation on its functioning to inform the committee on the fast pace of construction of National Highways and other infrastructure in the North Eastern states and strategic areas.

NHIDCL is currently entrusted with 109 projects in 13 states that include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim, West Bengal, Andaman and Nikobar Islands, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

The projects have a total length of 7,148 Km and these are at various stages of development.

The minister informed the committee that several bridges have come up on the river Brahmaputra, providing relief to a large number of people. Gadkari also informed there are plans for making 1,100 km all-weather road at Rs12,000 crore in Uttarakhand, of which about Rs650-700 crore worth of work has already been awarded.

Regarding road safety, the committee was informed that the government has set a target for reducing road accident fatalities by 50 per cent by 2020 and has taken several steps to prevent road accidents.

A National Road Safety Policy has been approved, which outlines various policy measures like promoting awareness, establishing road safety information data base, encouraging safer road infrastructure, enforcement of safety laws etc. The government has constituted the National Road Safety Council as the apex body to take policy decisions in the matter of road safety. "The ministry has evolved a multi pronged strategy to tackle the problem based on the 4Es, viz, Education, Engineering ( both of roads and vehicles) Enforcement and Emergency Care," the statement said.

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