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Construction : Web Exclusive | April 2017 | Source : CW-India

Nitin Gadkari wants more powers to NHAI to fast-track projects

A proposal to enhance National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) powers has already been sent to the Cabinet for approval. Reportedly, while Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has expressed unhappiness over the overall performance of road projects and the targets, the minister believes NHAI should have more powers to fast-track projects.

As reported, the decision in this regard has been taken to fast-track projects. The Minister expects that the Cabinet will enhance the power of NHAI. This in turn, will be useful for road construction. Even states PWDs were faring better than NHAI, Gadkari reportedly said, adding that he is expecting at least Rs 10,000 crore worth of road construction from NHAI. Project delays were due to the ‘system’ as there were so many committees to take decisions, and eventually the projects suffer, added Gadkari, as reported.

And so, enhancing the power of NHAI is expected to help fast-track clearances to highway projects at a time when the government has fixed a target of building 40 km of roads a day. The move is aimed at empowering the NHAI board to clear all highway projects on its own instead of seeking clearances at various levels. The NHAI board at present proposes a highway project which is cleared by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) before Cabinet approval if the project amount is less than Rs 1,000 crore. For projects over Rs 1,000 crore, MoRTH forwards it to the Finance Ministry before Cabinet nod. The 11-member NHAI board consists of seven full-time members including the chairman besides four part-time members.

 
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