Highway clearance delay worries LS members

PTI New Delhi | Updated on July 23, 2014

Members, cutting across party lines, on Wednesday expressed concern in the Lok Sabha over delay in getting necessary clearances for national highway projects worth over Rs 60,000 crore.

Initiating a discussion on the Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Congress leader and former Union Minister Vincent Pala said projects worth Rs 60,000 crore were pending due to various clearance procedures.

He said the National Highway projects should be brought under the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution so that it could not be challenged in courts and, thus, delay in the execution of projects could be avoided. Pala criticised the government for reducing allocation for various highway projects, particularly for northeast.

Bureaucrat-turned politician R K Singh (BJP) said there has been a slowdown in expanding the national highway network. He noted 363 projects worth Rs 60,000 crore are pending.

“It takes ages for getting any clearances...This has a serious impact on development,” he said and blamed the lack of commitment and seriousness for the same.

The BJP MP said the economic growth has come down because of slowdown in road construction programme.

Accusing the previous UPA governments of slowing down the national highway expansion network, Singh said they could add only 16,000 kms of roads in the past 10 years and it was lesser than what NDA did for the sector under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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Published on July 23, 2014
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