Bids invited for consultancy on expressways master plan

June 24th, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) The government has invited bids for consultancy services to formulate a master plan for the proposed National Expressway Network - freeways that will be spread across some 20,000 km across states. “The ministry has initiated the formulation of National Policy on Development of Expressway Network in the country and invited consultancy bids to formulate its master plan,” Union Minister of Transport and Highways T.R. Balu said Tuesday.

The minister said this at a conference of ministers in charge of highways in the states and union territories (UT).

The ministry has already set guidelines on the geometric design standards for the expressways and has forwarded these to the state government for their opinion.

A request was sent to the Planning Commission in March this year for formulation of a national policy for construction of expressways under the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP).

The minister also pointed out that the critical issues involved pre-construction activities like land acquisition, shifting of utilities, forest clearances and approvals from various agencies.

“These activities have become serious bottlenecks in achieving timely completion of the projects,” Balu said.

The minister asked the states to review the existing organizational set-up in the state public words departments (PWDs) so as to reorganize them to meet the current needs of the road sector.

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