Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
05-February-2013 19:38 IST
Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for Development of Road Network in the North Eastern States

On the initiatives of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken up an ambitious Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP-NE) for development of road network in the north eastern States of the Country. This programme envisages providing road connectivity to all the district headquarters in the north eastern region by minimum 2 lane highway standards apart from providing road connectivity to backward and remote areas, areas of strategic importance and neighbouring countries. Programme planned in two phases (A & B) including Arunachal Package covers about 10,141 km. The phase A of SARDP-NE including Arunachal Package covers 6,418 km an estimated cost of Rs 33,688 crore. Work is to be executed by the State PWDs, Border Roads Organisation, National Highways Authority of India and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. So far about 1,000 km have been completed. The project is targeted for completion by June, 2016. Phase B is in conceptual stage.

In order to identify the bottlenecks in the implementation of this programme to facilitate taking corrective actions Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Dr C P Joshi, reviewed the works with all the concerned. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister/ PWD Ministers from the States. Senior officers of the Ministry, BRO, NHAI and the States were present along with the representatives of the contracting agencies.

Delay in pre-construction activities, which, inter-alia, includes land acquisition, shifting of utilities, forest and environment clearance etc., emerged as one of the reasons for slow progress. Minister solicited proactive role from the States in resolving these issues. Minister used this forum to elaborate new system of procurement on Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract in contrast to the present system of item rate contract to address the issues of time and cost overrun effectively.

Capacity building of the State PWDs is also identified as the area of immediate concern to give impetus to this programme. This is all the more important as the programme includes improvement of state roads, which will have to be maintained by the States themselves after the completion of this programme. Minister issued directions in this regard to the Officials from the Ministry.

Secretary, Road Transport and Highways, Shri Vijay Chhiber expressed concern at the slow pace of expenditure despite availability of adequate sanctions with the States at the beginning of the year. To overcome problems of availability of stone aggregate, Chairman NHAI, Shri R P Singh suggested acquisition of stone quarries from the States by NHAI and leasing them to the contracting agencies. Director General Road Development and Special secretary, Shri C Kandasamy emphasized the need for training workshops on new technologies for N E region and also on the EPC mode of contracts for road construction.