Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that road projects worth around Rs 3 lakh crore would be completed in the northeast by the end of 2024, in line with the BJP-led central government's commitment to improve connectivity in the region.
He also said that the Centre was ready to allocate projects worth another Rs 2 lakh crore for the region if issues related to land acquisition and forest clearances are timely resolved by the state governments.
Gadkari, who was here for a review meeting on the work being undertaken in the region, announced projects worth Rs 1.41 lakh crore for the northeastern states, including Sikkim, on Wednesday and Friday.
The projects include strategic roads for defence purposes, for safeguarding Indo-China-Myanmar border, and enhancing international trade route with Myanmar and Bangladesh. "If we take into account the projects that are underway or have been built, along with the upcoming ones (including those that he announced), it would be worth around Rs 3 lakh crore. And all of these will be completed by 2024," Gadkari said, addressing a press meet here.
Besides the major road projects, there are several projects being undertaken in the region for ropeways, bridges, logistics and wayside amenities, he noted. Gadkari said he has urged the state governments to ensure that timely measures were taken for framing of uniform policies, acquiring requisite land and obtaining forest clearances.
"If these permissions are ensured on time, we can allot projects worth another Rs 2 lakh crore for northeast by 2024," the minister added. Refusing to comment on the performance of each state in the region, the minister said project-to-project review was done and issues that came to the fore would be resolved.
“We will rectify our shortcomings and the states have been asked to correct theirs. We have a federal character, and together we can ensure development," he added. He put in a word of appreciation for Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his officials, stating that majority of the problems confronting the projects were solved.
Gadkari also cautioned that any corruption or compromise with quality would not be tolerated. The minister added that the Narendra Modi-led government, "true to its commitment", is working for infrastructure development in the region.
(With PTI Inputs)