The BJP-led NDA government is set to clear seven major highway projects across the country, entailing an investment of Rs 16,000 crore.
This is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust to put infrastructure project clearances on the fast track.
The road transport and highways ministry has moved a cabinet proposal to approve seven projects on the public-private partnership model, running to a total length of 852 km.
The projects include the Rs 7,855 crore Delhi-Meerut Expressway that has been on the drawing board for almost a year.
Other projects going for approval include the Rs 2,342 crore four-laning of a bridge in Varanasi located near the Indo-Nepal border; four-laning of a 146 km stretch of the Sulatnpur-Varanasi highway in Uttar Pradesh, worth Rs 1,975 crore; and four-laning of a 99 km stretch of the Yadgiri-Warangal section in Andhra Pradesh, worth Rs 1,487 crore.
These would be the first set of projects to be approved by the new government. The ministry has also set an internal target of awarding 8,500 km stretch of highways during the current fiscal.
Highway construction had hit a wall during 2013-14. Against a target of 7,500 km, the highways ministry was able to award only 3,169 km.
The current ministry has blamed the various arms of the former government, including the finance and environment ministries, for the delays in awarding these projects.