Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today met Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and discussed the proposed Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway and other pending road and highway projects in the state.
The discussion on Delhi-Amritsar-Katra highway, also attended by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, focussed on road alignment and land acquisition costs for the project.
Amarinder said the Centre should pay all the acquisition costs for the highway, because of the state’s poor fiscal health, according to a statement issued by the Punjab government.
He was in favour of aligning the road via Pathankot into Amritsar to Taran Taran to Moga to Barnala and Samana before moving into Haryana, in order to encourage the development of these areas, which were lagging in industrial development.
Though the NHAI has invited bids for the appointment of consultant to conduct feasibility study and prepare a detailed project report for the proposed expressway, the process is going on at a slow pace, Amarinder pointed out, urging the ministry may expedite its construction.
The Union minister suggested formation of a group of revenue secretaries from the three states as well as the central government to study and recommend the modalities of the acquisition process, the statement said.
Amarinder also urged Gadkari to intervene for expediting various pending proposals and projects. These included approval for connecting the remaining four district headquarters with 4/6 lane national highways, besides declaration of Khanna-Malerkotla-Raikot-Jagraon-Nakodar as a new National Highway.
Pointing out that 18 of the 22 districts of Punjab were already connected with 4/6 lane national highways, Amarinder said only Ferozepur, Mansa, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Fazilka districts still continue to be connected with 2-lane national highways.