Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways & Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stones for 45 highway projects for the state of Madhya Pradesh through video conference on Tuesday. State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan presided over the virtual function, which was also attended by union ministers Thavarchand Gehlot and Narendra Singh Tomar, ministers of state Prahlad Singh Patel, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Gen (Dr) VK Singh (Retd), and other dignitaries.
These projects for inauguration and foundation laying carry a road length of 1,361 km, involving a construction value of Rs 114.27 billion. Paving the way for the development of Madya Pradesh, these roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in and around the state. The movement of people and goods to and from the state will also improve substantially, especially with the neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Construction of good quality roads will also lead to savings in time and fuel as well as lower emission of pollutants. Further, the project will decongest roads and the towns on the route.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that the national highway length in the state was 13,248 km today, which was barely 5,186 km in the year 2014. He said, Rs 1.25 trillion worth of development works were presently underway in Madhya Pradesh. As much as 60 to 70 per cent works had been completed on nearly Rs 300 billion worth of road works in the state. He said several of these roads were important for providing connectivity to the tourist spots and backward areas of the state. The minister announced that by the year 2023, development works worth Rs 500 billion were targeted for completion.
The minister further informed that work had already started on the 1,260 km eight-lane access-controlled Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, of which 244 km eight-lane length will be constructed in Madhya Pradesh at a cost of Rs 82.14 billion. He said, the work had already been awarded for the Madhya Pradesh section of this expressway, which will pass through Ramganj Mandi, Garoth, Jawra and Ratlam areas in the state’s Malwa region, and Thandla (Jhabua). He said a 173 km long four-lane road will be made to provide connectivity to the Malwa region from the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. This will pass through Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Agar to Garoth, and the works will be awarded by December this year.
State Must Grant Quick Permission for Mining
Gadkari also urged Chief Minister Chauhan to quickly grant the state government’s permission for mining as it had a direct bearing on the speed of expressway construction. He also requested the Chauhan to urgently distribute the land acquisition money to farmers, which the NHAI had already sent to the state government.
The minister highlighted the role of the MSME sector in improving the employment and economic situation in Madhya Pradesh. Informing about the recent expansion in the definition of MSME units, he exhorted Chauhan to utilise the opportunity and explore the export potential of handicrafts, handloom, etc., which can employ a large number of people.
Gadkari also announced Rs 7 billion from the Central Road Fund (CRF) for Madhya Pradesh to be utilised in the road sector. Inviting He proposals from the state, he said Rs 3.5 billion worth of proposals may include the proposals from the members of parliament of Madhya Pradesh for road works in their respective constituencies.
Chief Minister Chauhan complemented Gadkari for his vision and willingness to undertake important road projects in the state. He said these roads were a blessing as they would not only help save time and resources but also reduce the number of road accidents. Assuring full cooperation of the state machinery, he requested Gadkari to take up three ambitious road projects of Madhya Pradesh, the Narmada Expressway, Chambal Expressway (also called Atal Progressway) and the Ram Vangaman Path. He promised to soon submit detailed reports on these projects with the centre.