ANS: The central government will invest Rs 1 lakh crore for road construction projects in Jharkhand in the next three years. The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated seven projects and laid the foundation of 14 others (total 539 km) collectively worth Rs 3,550 crore through video conferencing on Saturday.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was present at the inaugural ceremony. Speaking on occasion, Gadkari urged Soren for a speedy land acquisition process for the project and the formalities associated with forest clearance.

Road construction works in Jharkhand will be done as per the wishes of the State government. The Economic Corridor, which is being constructed under the Bharatmala Yojana, will be completed by the next financial year, said Gadkari.

Five road projects would be come-up under the supervision of NHAI in Jharkhand, Mahulia-Bahragoda-Jharkhand or Widening of W Bengal Border, Barhi-Hazaribagh Division, Kachhri Chowk to Bijupada section, Bijupada to Kudu section, Piska More to Palma section with a total length of 217 km and costing Rs.2744 crores and two projects at the cost of Rs 52 crores of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Seven road projects were inaugurated, while the foundation stone was laid for 14 projects with an estimated cost of Rs 754 crore.

“State government should prepare a DPR of all roads as soon as possible and send it to the Central government so that road construction works can be expedited,” he said.

On occasion, Soren said today is a historic day for the State as it has received many road projects. “Development of Jharkhand will be accelerated by the construction of better roads. In Jharkhand, the transport of mineral resources is more by roads. Therefore, it is necessary to have quality roads here.

The CM said that for the development of roads in the State by the Central Government, Rs 205 crores in the financial year 2017-18, Rs. 169 crores in 2018-19, about Rs. 500 crores in 2019-20 and Rs. 675 crores in the financial year 2020-21 were allocated.

“Today, we are continuously moving in the direction of road construction work. It is the effort of the State government to send DPR of maximum number of road projects to the Central government. State government is aware of and acquisition and forest clearance for construction of roads. Our government is working with commitment to coordinate with NHAI in road construction work and move ahead,” he said.

Soren also urged the minister to expedite the construction work of Raipur-Dhanbad, Sambalpur-Ranchi, Varanasi-Ranchi, Ranchi-Paradip and Bakhtiarpur-Ormanjhi Economic Corridors under the Bharatmala Project and bridge construction work on the Ganges River at Sahibganj.

He also demanded to connect Bengal, Odisha and UP (Benaras) with Jharkhand from the High-Speed Corridor. He said that with the construction of a high-speed corridor, the State would be developed as an industry hub. Soren said that the State Government had given the construction work of many important roads of Jharkhand to NHAI. Therefore, special attention should be paid to backward states like Jharkhand in road construction work.

In his address, the CM said that Elephant Corridor and newly constructed roads along with other roads, plantation work should definitely be done. Several Elephant Corridors have been identified in the State. Taking special care of the identified Elephant Corridor, one needs to move ahead in road construction work. He also talked about developing an underpass system in road construction work, he said.

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