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Bureaucracy must fast-track decision-making, says Gadkari

PTI | Indore |

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday blamed the bureaucracy for its slow decision-making process and tardy implementation of projects.

The Minister for Road Transport said his department could have doubled the current progress if the officials had improved their decision-making process.

“The mindset of the officials is not to work quickly. They spend time (on work), they make rough to fair (the work plans), move around (plans) and fritter away time in picking holes. If they had improved (decision-making), our progress would have doubled. But, I do not blame them, it is our responsibility to mend their ways,” he said.

Gadkari was speaking after laying the foundation stones of various road projects here.

“The retirement age for the officers is 58, while we (MPs) have a five-year term. I tell them that they should act in accordance with what I (ministers) say,” he said.

The minister further said that development of infrastructure at a fast pace had been one of the top priorities of the central government.

“When I became a minister, there were only 96,000 km of national highways. Now, we have 1,78,000 km of national highways. The length will soon be 2,00,000 km,” he added.

Gadkari hoped that the laying of the Indore-Manmad railway line, at an estimated cost of Rs 6,000 crore, would start within the next four months.

“It was decided earlier that the railways will bear 50 per cent of the construction cost of the rail line, whereas the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra would each share 25 per cent of the cost.

“However, the chief ministers of both the states said their governments were facing a fund crunch, so we decided to construct the railway line through (funds) from the Mumbai- based Indian Port Rail Corporation,” he said.

Once the project was completed, Gadkari said it would be easier and cheaper to transport goods from Madhya Pradesh to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), near Mumbai, compared to the cost involved in transportation by road.

The minister laid the foundation stones for two projects of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), at an estimated cost of Rs 90 crore, in Indore.

He also informed that nine projects in Madhya Pradesh, involving a total cost of Rs 6,000 crore, would start within a month.