For thousands of people who are using the 130 km long Indore-Khandwa national highway everyday, there is good news as Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has focussed his attention on this project. In the coming two years, the project will be executed at a rapid pace, said National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials who held a detailed meeting with the minister in this regard during his visit to the city.
Gadkari was on a two-day visit to the city where he laid foundation stones and inaugurated 34 infrastructure projects worth over Rs 9,000 cr in a function held at Brilliant Convention Centre on Thursday.
Right after the function, Gadkari held meeting with NHAI officials where he discussed the Indore-Khandwa project which had been handed over to the NHAI by the state government two years back.
‘"Gadkari asked NHAI officials to brief him about the hurdles coming in the way of starting the construction of the Indore-Khandwa National Highway. The officials informed him about hurdles they are facing in land acquisition from the forest department and also about some other issues," a NHAI official who was present at the meeting said.
The same official said that the minister appeared determined at solving the problems and asked senior NHAI official to come and meet him in New Delhi with the pending issues so that they could be resolved quickly and the detailed project report could be prepared. The official said that Gadkari told them that he wanted to see people using the new road within the next two years. "The project will take off at super-speed in the coming months," officials said.
The construction of the road is a major challenge, mainly because of the hilly terrain between Simrol and Barwaha. At present it is a single track road and it is full of potholes.
No rail connectivity, pressure on road
Earlier, the road was under the MP Road Development Corporation, which built the road under BOT mode about 15 years ago. Over the years the condition of the road deteriorated and there was little maintenance while traffic increased. Things became worse five years back when rail link between Indore and Khandwa was closed due to guage conversion and all the load fell on the road.