Gadkari: Big projects will be divided into small-size packages of Rs 50-100 crore to help local bidders
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 2: Announcing free-of-cost road construction wherever land is provided with all clearances by the State government in Northeast, Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today said small size packages will be formed for the region to eble local and small contractors’ participation.
“The major problems in Northeast are land acquisition and getting forest clearances. We have urged the State governments to expedite it,” Gadkari said at a press conference here, winding up his four-day tour of Assam, Aruchal Pradesh and Meghalaya.
He said that the Centre has come up with a new land policy, under which the government, while acquiring land, will pay four times the rate fixed by the deputy commissioner in rural areas and double the rate in urban areas.
“Earlier, the projects came in huge packages running to the tune of several crores. That is why only big firms could execute them. Small-size packages (Rs 50-100 crore) will be formed for NE to eble local and small contractors’ participation. This will result in more employment, benefits remaining within the region and socio-economic transformation,” he said.
Gadkari also said the ministry will consider constructing roads free-of-cost wherever land is provided by State governments with all clearances.
Three projects have already been proposed for the ministry’s consideration – East West Industrial Highway (430 km) from Bhairabkund to Ruksin, Frontier Highway (1800 km) from Tawang to Vijay gar, and Dirang Project to fra (37 km), all in Aruchal Pradesh.
“The same proposal for free-road construction stands for all NE states. But these roads have to be important, busy roads. After construction, these roads can be converted to tiol highways and the ministry will take care of the maintence,” Gadkari added.
He said projects worth Rs 20,000 crore will be started in Northeast this year, of which Rs 8,000 crore is earmarked for Assam.
Gadkari accepted that many older projects, including the East-West Corridor, are incomplete in NE and said a ‘positive approach’ is being taken up by his ministry to help in finishing these projects.
The minister held a review meeting with PWD ministers and officials of all NE states, including Sikkim, earlier in the day.
The foundation stone for the regiol office of tiol Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd was also laid here in his presence today.
Gadkari laid the foundation for 10 projects of total 281 kms at the cost of Rs 5,320 crore, at Jorhat in Assam yesterday.
In order to promote water transportation, various projects of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) are being pursued in Assam, the minister said.
He said construction of a ship repair facility at Pandu, Guwahati, will commence by October this year. A high level jetty at Pandu, at a cost of Rs 45 crore, will be completed by end of this year, along with broad gauge rail sliding.
“An MoU has been signed with Central Railslide Warehousing Company for operating Pandu warehouse and termil,” the minister said.
Ro-Ro jetty at Dhubri will be completed by June 2016 at a cost of Rs 47 crore and Ro-Ro services across Brahmaputra between Dhubri and Hatsingimari will commence by December this year, which will save 220 kms of road travel.
Gadkari said funds have already been released to Assam government for creating floating termils at 15 locations at a cost of Rs 6 crore, and another 20 floating termils have already been created.