Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Joshi said that this is the high time to make coordinated efforts by Central and State Governments to fulfill the dream of making India a developed nation. He said that a qualitative infrastructure development is a must for the growth of the country. Dr. Joshi said that Government of India has given thrust on infrastructure development in 11th and forthcoming 12th Five Year Plans with a view to increase national GDP. He said that central government is committed to facilitate the common man by providing new technology and better road transportation facility.
Referring about the new RFID Toll Plaza, he said that all the highways in the country will be provided RFID technique, which helps users to make payment without stopping at toll plazas and reduces traffic congestion and commuting time. Toll Statements can also be made available on line to the road users and they need not have to stop for receipt. He said that besides satisfying functional requirements, it is the cheapest mode for collection.
Dr. Joshi further informed that National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has completed the projects of 491 km. roads costing Rs. 1913 crore in Haryana, 357 km. roads worth Rs. 1419 crore in Punjab and 5 km worth Rs. 50 crore in Himachal Pradesh. The projects under implementation are 969 km. of Rs. 5962 crore in Haryana, 645 km. of Rs. 4791 crore in Punjab and 124 kms. of Rs. 1994 crore in Himachal Pradesh. The projects of 508 km worth Rs. 3574 crore in Haryana, 454 km worth Rs. 3301 crore in Punjab and 204 km worth Rs. 3664 crore have also been awarded to NHAI.
Dr. Joshi assured compliance of the balance projects of Rohtak-Hisar, Ambala-Kaithal, Kaithal-Rajasthan border, Hisar-Dabwali in Haryana; Jalandhar-Amritsar, Ludhiana-Chandigarh, Sri Gangananagar-Amritsar, Jalandhar-Haryana border in Punjab; and Parwanoo-Solan, Solan-Shimla, Ner Chowk-Manali in Himachal Pradesh soon after the scrutiny of technical aspects of these projects.
On the occasion, Union Minister for Culture and HUPA, Kum. Selja said that highway development is a flagship programme of Government of India and Central Government is committed to provide uninterrupted road connectivity in all parts of the country. She also urged Dr. Joshi to exempt the daily commuters of peripheral area from toll tax at the newly setup toll plaza. She demanded highway at Yamunanagar-Saha section in Haryana and a mega circuit project to boost the economy of this region by encouraging tourism.
Shri Prakash Singh Badal, Chief Minister of Punjab and Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana conveyed their gratitude to the Union Minister for connecting Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh with the new Himalayan Express Way from Zirakpur to Parwanoo section. Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala, PWD Minister Haryana also highlighted the issues of construction of new flyovers and underpasses in Haryana. Union Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Dr. Tushar A. Choudhary was also present on the occasion.