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Nitin Gadkari calls for fast-track development of Rs 12,000 crore Char Dham pilgrim project

New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari has sought to fast-track key infrastructure projects, including the Char Dham scheme, and reached out to all the stakeholders for quicker clearances.

He minced no words saying there will be zero tolerance to any delay.

File image of Nitin Gadkari. PTI

File image of Nitin Gadkari. PTI

Chairing a meeting of a group of ministers on infrastructure last night, Gadkari said 18 proposals relating to the ambitious Char Dham project were scuttled in absence of various clearances, pointing out that the decision to build the new project was taken after the Uttarakhand catastrophe.

"There should not be any delay in the Rs 12,000-crore project for developing 900 km of National Highways in Uttarakhand for improving connectivity to Char Dham pilgrimage centres," officials present at the meeting quoted Gadkari as saying.

The meeting was attended by coal and power minister Piyush Goyal, environment minister Harsh Vardhan, officials of various ministries, including railways and defence, as well as the Uttarakhand government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the project last year with an aim to improve connectivity to Char Dham pilgrimage centres -- Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in the Himalayas.

During the meeting, the state officials flagged the notification issued by the environment ministry declaring 40 square km near river Bhagirathi as an eco-sensitive zone.

Gadkari urged his forest counterpart to look into the matter as this is not just holding up the project, but causing delays in Namami Gange and border road programmes as well, the officials said.

Asking the ministry to speed up clearances to 32 other highway projects, the road, highways and shipping minister has sought exemption of NHIDCL projects within 100 km of LoC or international boundaries from sending proposals to regional offices, as in the case of defence.

The issue of transfer of defence land to the National Highways Authority of India at various locations was also discussed at the meeting as five such cases are pending, the officials said.

Reaching out to railway officials for rail projects in Maharashtra, Gadkari said delays are causing socio-economic imbalances.

The railway ministry was also approached to provide 35 acres in Varanasi for an inter-modal station.

Other port projects, including those of JNPT, Kandla and Kamrajar, came up for discussion.

Updated Date: Aug 04, 2017 14:05 PM

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