High powered group set up to look into sharing utility infra

NEW DELHI, Jan 31: A high-level committee headed by telecom secretary has been formed to look into procedures for sharing of infrastructure for utilities like water pipes and telecom cables, official sources said.
The panel comprise secretaries of road transport and highways, power and petroleum and member (Engineering), railways. The committee was constituted at a meeting of PM- appointed Group of Infrastructure, headed by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, yesterday.
The committee will look into the modalities for sharing infrastructure for utilities like water pipes and telecom cables.
It was decided in the meeting that the ministries would enter into a pact to the effect that they would not charge each other for setting up projects as the payment would be on government-to-government basis, the official said.
Besides Gadkari, Railway and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan and Power Minister R K Singh were also present in the meeting.
“BSNL has been requested to improve its connection quality for the River Information System on National Waterways No 1 between Farakka and Patna as the quality at present is very poor,” the official said.
The telecom ministry officials said they are in the process of upgrading it.
Officials said that Gadkari, who holds multiple portfolio of road, highways, shipping, transport, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, also asked the environment and forest ministry to expedite clearances to 12 highway projects.
The projects are pending with various state governments.
A number of projects were reviewed at the meeting and it was found that the approvals to railway over-bridges were satisfactory but it was decided that specific timelines would be set for these approvals with strict adherence. (PTI)