Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari on Monday assured Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal about the approval of Rs. 952 crore for the upgradation and construction of 1,459-km roads in the state under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
He also promised to review the new formula for the calculation of annual accrual under the central road fund scheme. Sukhbir called on Gadkari in New Delhi to discuss the pendency of road projects vis-à-vis pending wildlife clearances with the ministry of environment and forests.
Gadkari said the Centre would soon release the first instalment of the approved amount and also sanctioned a separate grant of Rs. 94 crore for the construction, repair, widening of new and old roads under PMGSY-II.
Apprising Gadkari of Punjab’s pending road projects, Sukhbir urged that four-laning of the Zirakpur-Patiala section of National Highway (NH)-64 be approved on priority by the cabinet committee on economic affairs. He also sought approval of four-laning of the Patiala-Bathinda section of NH-64 and upgradation of Jalandhar-Moga-Barnala section of NH-71.
Briefing the minister about the pending wildlife clearances, Sukhbir said clearances for four-laning of NH-15 section (Amritsar to Bathinda) and four-laning of Sangrur-Patran-Khanauri up to Punjab/Haryana border should be released at the earliest.
The deputy CM also told Gadkari that Punjab was facing losses due to the new formula, amended in 2009, for the calculation of annual accrual under the central road fund (CRF) scheme. He also asked the minister to examine the formula in the interests of states as the UPA government had altered it by giving 30% weightage to fuel consumption and 70% to the geographical area instead of the earlier rule of 60% weightage to fuel consumption and 40% to the geographical area. Gadkari also assured to review the new formula for the calculation of the annual accrual under the CRF.