The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has sanctioned twice the length of road projects for Tamil Nadu in FY22 (as of January) compared to FY21. The ministry sanctioned proposals for 473.67 km as against the length of 229.81 km sanctioned for the entire previous fiscal.

This information was disclosed by Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Jayaram Gadkari last month while replying to a query raised by MK Vishnu Prasad, Lok Sabha Member of Parliament representing the Arni constituency.

Till January 2022 of this fiscal, the ministry got 56 road proposals from Tamil Nadu of which 36 have been approved/sanctioned at a cost of ₹1,592.78 crore. In comparison, the ministry got 38 proposals for the previous year, of which 37 were sanctioned/approved at a sanctioned cost of ₹1,493.52 crore, the minister said.

The sanctioned cost was just ₹370.21 crore in 2019-2020 (24 proposals and 100.71 km) and ₹862.11 crore (20 proposals and 147.63 km) the year before, the minister said in a reply to a question raised by the MP seeking a reply from the minister on the number of proposals received from Tamil Nadu for road construction projects during each of the last three years and current year.

The data assumes significance in the backdrop of Gadkari in January appealing to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin to ensure better co-operation between his Ministry and the State.

“We are facing major problems in Tamil Nadu. Our work has stopped. Through this programme, I request the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to review all the road projects and cooperate with us,” the Minister said in his special address at the BusinessLine Countdown to Budget 2022.

Road development projects (National Highways) in Tamil Nadu has hit a roadblock due to problems like sourcing aggregate material and forest clearances, he added.

Joining issue with Gadkari, Stalin replied that after the DMK Government took over, NHAI projects have been given very high importance. Tamil Nadu government has put its best foot forward to support National Highways projects in the State and these have helped to resolve many long pending issues, Stalin had said.

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