Govt may revive plan to connect metros with expressways

Expressways connecting the metro cities may soon become a reality as the government plans to revive the proposal to build high speed roads in the country.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 09, 2015, 22:12 PM IST

New Delhi: Expressways connecting the metro cities may soon become a reality as the government plans to revive the proposal to build high speed roads in the country.

"Suggestions regarding setting up an express highway network in the country have also come ... To build an expressway highway corridors between metro cities," Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here.

The earlier proposal of executing expressways in the country could not move forward due to delays in land acquisition and construction of existing roads.

The ministry is currently working on restructuring the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for greater transparency and faster decision making at the body.

Gadkari said Afghanistan and Nepal have sought support from India for development of infrastructure in their countries.

"They (Afghanistan and Nepal) had reached out to us and sought support from us for their infrastructure development, we are also looking at how NHAI can take projects in those countries also," the minister added.

Last time restructuring at NHAI happened in 2009 to enhance its institutional capacity. It was done to make it a multi-disciplinary professional body with quality financial management and contract management expertise.

NHAI was constituted through the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. It became operational in February 1995 and is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of national highways.

On the issue of Land Acquisition Bill, Gadkari said that it is not anti-poor and the interests of all sections of people have been kept in mind while drafting it.

The bill has drawn severe criticism from the opposition calling it anti-farmer and anti-poor.

Meanwhile, the government is considering one time fund infusion to revive and physically complete some of these languishing projects being implemented on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode of delivery only.

This proposal of moderate fund infusion would help physical completion of languishing highway projects expeditiously bringing relief to citizens in the area.