By Accommodation Times News Services
Road construction projects worth over 1,80,000 crore rupees that are being stalled will be taken forward and completed by removing various hurdles, said Nitin Gadkari, the Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping. Addressing the National Road and Highways Summit organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi today, he said there have been huge Non-performing Assets (NPAs) in the banks relating to such road projects amounting nearly to 2,40,000 crore rupees.
In this context it is being considered to take up highway building under EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) Model in place of PPP (Public Private Partnership) for at least two years from now. He said that that it is proposed to lay gas, optical fibre and power transmission lines along the one lakh km national highways to generate revenue for the government, besides the public amenity centers along the highways.
The Minister also proposes to hold meetings with the bankers next month as they have stopped funding various infrastructure projects. The Minister replying to various questions said that some of the opposition lead states and also several leaders of the Opposition are also for review of the Land Acquisition Act to overcome problems in implementation of infrastructure projects and the government is not for forcing anything. Shri Gadkari also hoped to raise over one crore rupees through hedging at 0% interest. The Minister said talks are being held with some countries on the issue.
Shri Gadkari also hoped that inland waterways of over 16000 Kms will be built in the coming years for achieving environment friendly transport means. He expected agreements with Holland for dredging of Cochin Port.