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Goel pulls up NHAI, NF Railway officials

‘You receive salaries to find out solutions and ways to overcome hurdles that come in the way of execution of projects. You cannot keep problems and hurdles in just files and papers. You have to go to the spots to find solutions’

STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, June 21: Union Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation Vijay Goel on Thursday pulled up the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and NF Railway for their failures to complete execution of centrally sponsored infrastructures.

Reviewing the progress of central sector infrastructure projects in road and transport, petroleum and natural gas, and railway sectors at NEDFi House here on Thursday afternoon, Goel questioned as to how long a section of officials and engineers of NHAI and NF Railway would offer various excuses and grounds for their failures to complete vital infrastructures projects on time.

“You receive salaries to find out solutions and ways to overcome hurdles that come in the way of execution of projects. You cannot keep problems and hurdles in just files and papers. You have to go to the spots to find solutions,” Goel said while pointing out to the NF Railway regarding delay in executing a project.

He said timely execution of central projects in the Northeast is crucial for the overall economic and social development of the region.
The Centre is currently implementing 44 projects worth more than Rs 50,000 crore in the Northeast and timely completion is of utmost importance to ensure development.

Goel reviewed projects worth over Rs 150 crore with senior officials of NHAI, Oil India Limited, NF Railway and the State government. He was apprised by representatives of central agencies that infrastructure projects get delayed in the region due to natural calamities, reluctance of senior engineers and skilled labourers from outside the region, and law-and-order problems, among others.

The minister said he will discuss with the authorities at the Centre whether rules can be framed to allow engagement of more workforce in the Northeast so that infrastructure projects are completed on time.

On the progress of the NHAI projects, officials told Goel that in the case of the East-West Corridor project in Assam covering 13 districts, four-laning of 606.793 km out of 636.657 km has been completed. The remaining 29.864 km is under progress, which is mostly in Dima Hasao district. NHAI is constructing 130.09 km of road in Dima Hasao district, out of which 106.280 km has been completed.

While reviewing the progress on the New Bongaigaon-Goalpara-Kamakhya doubling project, NF Railway officials informed the minister that delay in getting earth-cutting permission from district authorities affected timely completion.

Goel also reviewed the Rs 571.66-crore Augmentation of Pumping Capacity of Barauni-Bongaigaon Phase II project which is being implemented by Oil India Limited. “There is no constraint in the project which is running as per schedule, and once completed, it will enable Guwahati Refinery to receive more imported crude for processing purposes,” he said.