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Modi calls for fast-tracking infrastructure projects

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday pushed for fast-tracking all projects that will ensure a modern infrastructure backbone in the country, as part of the targets set for the 75th year of India's independence in 2022.

"Besides a broad overview of the infrastructure scenario in the country, the meeting focused on the specific sectors of rural infrastructure, power, coal, renewable energy and petroleum and natural gas," an official statement said after the meeting.

"The prime minister stressed on the need for government departments to work toward initialising spending of the budget in a focused manner from the start of the financial year. He was given a detailed overview of the plans of various ministries for completion of pending projects within the current financial year."

Against the backdrop of the cabinet recently approving the mission to create 100 smart cities in the country, Mopdi said one of the priorities for urban areas must be in creation of waste-to-wealth and efficient systems for used water disposal and solid waste management in 500 cities.

"The prime minister also asked for specific data to be collected and presented on priority areas such as toilets, affordable housing and smart cities," the statement said.

Those at the meeting included Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajpati Raju.

In the prime minister's "Make in India" campaign, a major thrust has been accorded to infrastructure. The value of infrastructure projects ready for procurement this fiscal is estimated at $240 billion, of which half is envisaged through public-private-partnerships.

These cover roads and highways, ports, power, civil aviation, industrial corridors and railways.

Among some specific interventions made by the prime minister, were on according highest priority to the irrigation projects, as also electrification of all the remaining villages at the earliest. Renewable energy and adoption of efficient technologies were also discussed.

Minister Jaitley, while presenting India's national budget, had said the country had emerged as the largest market for public-private partnerships in the world with more than 900 projects in various stages of development. He said this model had delivered some of iconic infrastructure.

First Published: Sat, May 02 2015. 21:40 IST