To expedite highway projects in the state, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said a regular review of the projects will be taken at the level of the chief secretary for better coordination with different road agencies. A meeting between Thackeray and Union minister for road transport Nitin Gadkari was held in Mumbai on Monday.
Thackeray said permissions related to environment and forests, and pending land acquisition should be obtained faster to complete road projects in a timely manner.
Pending highway projects like Mumbai-Goa, Ratnagiri-Kolhapur, Kolhapur-Kagal, Sangli-Solapur, Surat-Nashik-Ahmednagar and Ahmednagar-Solapur-Akkalkot, expressway projects like Vadodara-Mumbai and Pune-Ahmednagar-Aurangabad, and the Ahmednagar Bypass were discussed. A monthly review of these will be taken at the CM's level too. Gadkari suggested appointing retired IAS officers at the division level to ensure that problems which crop up can be sorted out at the earliest.
“Since there are multiple road agencies carrying out these works, it was decided that a regular review will be taken by the chief secretary to expedite projects,” said a senior official. A suggestion was made to convert Mumbai-Goa Highway into a cement-concrete road keeping in mind heavy rains in the region. It is difficult to fill bad patches as asphalt gets watched away.
Gadkari had written to Thackeray in August complaining about the stalling of road works by local Shiv Sainiks in Washim. Machinery had also been set on fire. Gadkari has asked Thackeray for his assistance to ensure that work is not stalled.
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