Prime Minister reviews performance of key infrastructure sectors

AGENCIES/STAFF REPORTER
NewDelhi/IMPHAL, 26th April: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors including roads, railways, airports, ports, digital, and coal. The review meeting, which lasted for about four and a half hours, was attended by top officials from PMO, NITI Aayog and all infrastructure Ministries of the Government of India.

                   In course of the presentation made by CEO NITI Aayog, it was noted that remarkable progress has been made in several areas and infrastructure sectors. In a broad overview of the progress in the roads and railways sectors, the Prime Minister called for a consolidated approach to existing projects, and working towards their completion within strict timelines.

                   Progress of important projects in the roads and railways sectors, such as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Char Dham Project, the Quazigund-Banihal Tunnel, the Chenab railway bridge, and the Jiribam-Imphal project was also reviewed. During the video-conferencing between the Prime Minister and the Manipur chief secretary O Nabakishore Singh, the latter informed that though the road development/maintenance works are underway, the pace of work is far from being fully satisfactory.

                Nabakishore conceded that there are some portions on the said highway where heavy commercial vehicles and passenger carriers find it difficult to negotiate through the huge pot-holes. From his side, Narendra Modi advised the bureaucrat to undertake all possible measures for proper maintenance of the lifeline and ensure safe passage of passengers on the route. The video conferencing was also attended by top officials of PWD and MSRRDA.

                It is informed that in the aviation sector, the Regional Connectivity Scheme will connect 43 destinations, including 31 unserved destinations. The passenger capacity in the aviation sector has reached 282 million passengers per annum. The highest ever average daily construction rate of 130 km, has been achieved for rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. This has led to an addition of 47,400 km of PMGSY roads in 2016-17. 11,641 additional habitations have been connected with roads in the same period.

                  Over 4000 km of rural roads have been constructed using green technology in FY17. The use of non-conventional materials such as waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly ash, iron and copper slag is being pushed aggressively. 

                   The Prime Minister directed efficient and stringent monitoring of rural roads construction and their quality. He called for expeditious completion of vital links which will connect the remaining unconnected habitations at the earliest. The Prime Minister directed the use of new technologies in road construction also. He asked NITI Aayog to examine global standards in the application of technology for infrastructure creation, and their feasibility in India.

                   In the highways sector, over 26,000 km of 4 or 6 lane national highways have been built in FY17, and the pace is improving. In the railways sector, 953 km of new lines were laid in 2016-17, as against the target of 400 km. Track electrification of over 2000 km, and gauge conversion of over 1000 km was achieved in the same period. More than 1500 unmanned level crossings have been eliminated in 2016-17. The Prime Minister called for speeding up of work related to redevelopment of Railway Stations, and greater creativity in the generation of non-fare revenue.

                  In the digital infrastructure sector, 2187 mobile towers have been installed in districts affected by Left Wing Extremists, in 2016-17. Progress of the National Optical Fibre Network was reviewed. The Prime Minister emphasized that the emerging digital connectivity network, which will connect thousands of Gram Panchayats within the next few months, should be backed up by appropriate governance steps, so that it can lead to better quality of life, and greater empowerment of people in the rural areas .


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