New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari chaired the meeting of the 9th Group of Infrastructure Committee today to address existing inter-ministerial issues with regard to the implementation of Infrastructure projects. The Minister reiterated commitment to Infrastructure development giving due importance to protection of Environment and ecology.
Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister for Civil Aviation; Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronic and IT; Shri Bhupender Yadav, Minister for MoEF&CC, Labor & Employment; Gen (Dr.) V. K. Singh (Retd.), Minister of State for RT&H & Civil Aviation and Shri. Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence & Tourism participated in the meeting.
Senior Officers from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Railways (MoR), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL) and representatives from the States of Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh attended the same.
Several issues had been placed on the agenda for deliberation for expediting the progress of on-going infrastructure projects by resolving the issues related to NOCs, facilitating working permissions/approvals, ensuring land allocation/transfer and release of funds . The issues also included, pending forest and environment clearances with MoEF&CC, pending DPR approvals, issues of Logistic parks/Inter-modal station & ROB/RUB construction with M/o Railways, issue of alignment of Right of Way (RoW) policy, issue of common ducts for fiber on highways with DoT, pending working permissions with MoD among others.
A major issue raised in the meeting pertained to the outstanding forest clearances regarding highway and other infra projects. The concerned officers were directed to expedite the process for the same immediately. Land/ROW policies of Railways & MoRTH and making comprehensive guidelines for Environment and Forest clearance were also discussed at length. Minister of Railways underlined the importance of new technologies and financial models for Railways’ infrastructure enhancement and offered to work in close association with MoRTH on similar lines. He further added that he would like to examine the feasibility of working out a plan to lay the railway lines along the Highways in the already acquired land in order to make the projects viable. Shri Gadkari gave the suggestion of starting the Tree Bank like the concept of Carbon Credit.
The Ministers agreed to look into the matters raised by various agencies and resolve the same in order to expedite infrastructure projects which contribute to Nation building.