Will audit performance of NHAI officials: Nitin Gadkari

NEW DELHI: In a stern message, minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said he would soon conduct performance reviews of officials and say ‘namaskar’ to those working below par.

“Jinko kaam nahi karna hai, unko namaskar bhi karna hai (those who don’t want to work will be shown the door),” Gadkari told reporters on Friday after a review of road projects over the past two days. “Just wait for three months. I will do a performance audit. Vyakti ka, aur sanstha ka (of people and the organisation).”

Gadkari said he has directed officials to spend maximum time on the field, close to projects, where they can identify issues and make decisions quickly.

Adding to Gadkari’s comments, National Highways Authority of India chairman Sukhbir Singh Sandhu said the authority had set timeframes for pending decisions to be made.

Talking about grievance redressal portal GATI launched by NHAI, Sandhu said issues raised by road concessionaires on the portal will be monitored regularly by officers in both the NHAI and the transport ministry.

“Once everyone down the line knows that the pendency is in the knowledge of seniors, there’s no way they can sit on it,” Sandhu said.

Gadkari said that while there were problems with respect to delays in projects and rising cost of construction, among others, the ministry was working to address them.

The minister said the cost of the first phase of Bharatmala, the government’s flagship highway construction programme, has increased to Rs 9.5 lakh crore. The initial cost of building about 35,000 km of highways as part of Bharatmala-I was estimated at Rs 5.35 lakh crore.

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