Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s intervention in expediting the approvals, pending before his ministry, to upgrade two-lane national highways to four or six lanes.
In a letter to the Union minister for road, transport, highways and shipping, the chief minister said only four of Punjab’s 22 districts are still connected with two-lane national highways, while the rest are already linked with four or six-lane national highways. He wants to upgrade these two-lane highways in the districts — Ferozpur, Mansa, Muktsar and Fazilka — to four or six lanes, whose approvals are pending with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said an official statement.
Besides, he sought the formal notification of the Khanna-Malerkotla-Raikot-Jagraon-Nakodar and Banga- Garhshankar-Anandpur Sahib road as new national highways, for which the Centre has given in-principle approval. The updgrade of Talwandi-Ferozpur and Muktsar-Malout section is also on the radar.
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He further urged the ministry to resolve the pending issues related to four-laning of Ludhiana-Talwandi Bhai section of NH-95, for which work was started in March, 2012 on a PPP model (public-private partnership), but subsequently stopped. “The suspension of work was causing a lot of inconvenience to the people,” he said.
While the Union ministry has budgeted Rs 1,049 crore, only one Rs 158-crore project has been allocated in the first phase. The chief minister has also pitched for the four-laning projects be handed over to the state PWD, which have the competent workers to implement national highway projects.