NEW DELHI: Asserting that the proposed Rs 8,250 crore Chambal Expressway could be a game changer for the poor and tribals living in far-flung areas of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday urged these states to expedite land acquisition, environment clearances and tax relief for the project.
The project will also provide cross-connectivity with the Golden Quadrilateral’s Delhi-Kolkata corridor, North-South Corridor, East-West Corridor and Delhi-Mumbai -Expressway.
“The upcoming expressway could be a game changer for tribals and poor living in the far-flung areas, specially Chambal region which is considered as one of the most backward areas in the country.
“While farmers of all three states will be the biggest beneficiaries to send their produce to Delhi Mumbai markets, this expressway will be a boon for primitive tribes like Saharia in Morena, Sheopur and other areas,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said, reviewing the project.
The proposed expressway will prove to be the newest model of infrastructure development jointly between the states and the Centre, he said. The about 404 km-long expressway provides an alternate route from Kanpur to Kota through Madhya Pradesh, and then it joins the Delhi-Mumbai corridor.
Reviewing the project with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gadkari emphasised on expeditious environment clearances, land acquisition and royalty/local tax exemptions to make the project see the light of the day soon.
He underlined that land acquisition should cater to the development of wayside amenities, besides industrial and commercial clusters with potential for having smart cities, mandis, hunar haats, among others, on both sides.
The expressway will offer huge employment potential in these districts and adjoining areas, he said.
Stressing on the need to bring down the cost, Gadkari said royalty and tax exemptions on the project material will save more than Rs 1,000 crore.
He suggested that chief ministers of the states through which the road will pass should chair State-level High Powered Committee meetings to sort all state-specific issues which will facilitate faster implementation of the project.
Madhya Pradesh has already exempted royalty on minerals for this project.
Gadkari also said he has directed NHAI Chairman S S Sandhu to prepare the DPR (detailed project report) at the earliest. The project is expected to be completed in about two years after land acquisition.
The states will share the Rs 650 crore land acquisition cost.
He also suggested forming a Chambal Development Authority for better coordination and progress of the region.
The minister said the project can also have logistics parks on the lines of multi-modal logistics parks being constructed in Indore, Jabalpur and Jaipur.
Senior officers of the state governments of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, as well as the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry and NHAI participated in the online review meeting. (AGENCIES)