Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for 45 highway projects for the State of Madhya Pradesh through video conference. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan presided over the virtual function, attended by Union Ministers Thavarchand Gehlot and Narendra Singh Tomar, MoS Prahlad Singh Patel, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Gen (Dr) V K Singh (Retd), Ministers from the State, several MPs, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the State.
These projects for inauguration and foundation laying carry a Road length of 1,361 kilometers, involving construction value of ₹ 11427 crore. Paving the way for development of MP, these roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in and around the State. Movement of people and goods to and from the State of Madhya Pradesh will also improve substantially especially with the neighbouring States of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, etc. The better roads lead to savings in time and fuel and as well lower emission of pollutants. Further these project will decongest roads and the enroute towns contributing to improved road experience.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said, the NH length in the State is 13,248 kms today, which was barely 5,186 kms in the year 2014. He said, ₹ 1,25,000 crore worth of development works are underway in Madhya Pradesh. As much as 60 to 70 per cent works have been completed on approximately ₹ 30,000 crore worth road works in the State. He said, several of these roads are important for providing connectivity to the tourist spots and backward areas of the State. The Minister announced that by the year 2023, development works worth ₹ 50,000 crore are targeted for completion.
The Minister further informed that work has already started on the 1260 km eight lane access controlled Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, of which 244 km 8-lane length will be constructed in Madhya Pradesh at a cost of ₹ 8,214 crore. He said, the work has already been awarded for the MP section of this Expressway, which will pass through Ramganj Mandi, Garoth, Jawra and Ratlam areas of Malwa region, and Thandla (Jhabua). He said, a 173 km long 4-lane road will be made to provide connectivity to the Malwa region from the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. This will pass through Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Agar to Garoth, and the works will be awarded by December this year.
Gadkari asked the CM to quickly grant State Government permission for mining, as it has direct bearing on the speed of Expressway construction. He also requested the CM to urgently distribute the land acquisition money to farmers, which the NHAI has already sent to the State government. Gadkari also asked for expediting forest clearance which requested CM to review himself as unduly holding up clearance delays projects and the same is not in public interest.
The Minister highlighted the role of MSME sector in improving the employment and economic scenario in Madhya Pradesh. Informing about the recent expansion in the definition of MSME units, he exhorted the CM to utilise the opportunity and explore export potential of handicrafts, handloom, etc, which can provide employment to large number of people. This he said will also help in the progress of Madhya Pradesh.
Gadkari also announced ₹ 700 crore from Central Road Fund (CRF) for Madhya Pradesh to be utilised in the road sector. Inviting proposals from the State, he said ₹ 350 crore worth of proposals may include the proposals from MPs of Madhya Pradesh for road works in their constituency.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan complemented the Union Minister for his vision and willingness to undertake important Road projects in the State. He said, these roads are blessings for MP as they not only save time and money, but also protect life with reduced accidents. Assuring full cooperation from State machinery, he requested the Union Minister to take up three ambitious Road projects of Madhya Pradesh – Narmada Expressway, Chambal Expressway (also called Atal Progressway), and the Ram Vangaman Path. He said, he will very soon submit detailed reports on these projects to the Centre.
Union Ministers Thavarchand Gehlot, Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste along with other dignitaries also applauded the work and initiatives taken for various highways projects in MP.