Bathinda: Foundation stone for highway projects worth over Rs 3,300 crore in Punjab were laid on Thursday by Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari, who said the NDA government was committed to providing good connectivity across the country.
It is the endeavour of the Centre to provide good connectivity to ensure development of the country, Gadkari said while laying the foundation stone of seven National Highway Projects by a press of a button here.
They involved projects totalling 222 Kms to be completed at a total cost of Rs 3,342 crore.
This was Gadkari's maiden visit to the state after becoming a minister in the Narendra Modi government.
The seven projects are Sangrur-Dogal Kalan (30 Kms), Dogal Kalan-Punjab Haryana border (27 Kms), Sangrur-Dhanaula bye-pass (18 Kms), Patiala bye-pass (19 Kms), Patiala-Sangrur (41 Kms), Sangrur-Tapa (46 Kms) and Tapa-Bathinda (41 Kms).
Launching his multi-Crore project, Gadkari also promised Rs 18,000 Crore investment on Punjab's road infrastructure including 5 railways over bridges (ROB's).
He said almost all major state highways would be converted into national highways and work on it would commence before the end of this year.
Gadkari said good connectivity played a major role in development of US.
"Punjab shall be developed on the lines of Canada and America and this shall be done in a time bound span of two years", he added.
He said that he would ensure the project work started before March 31 and was completed without getting stuck due to any reason.
Gadkari also said the new Motor Vehicle Act will be introduced in the coming session of Parliament under which it is proposed to hike the penalities for various violations so that the roads become safer.
Stating the country had a large number of bogus driving licenses, he said the Centre would commence computerisation of the process of issuing driving licenses.
Welcoming the Union Minister on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal said that he was happy Gadkari has accepted all the demands of the state.
"....All my demands were immediately welcomed and accepted by the union Minister for transport and with immediate effect which was exactly opposite to the treatment meted out to the demands of Punjab by his (Gadkari's) predecessors in Congress regime," he said.