Hang Photos Of Officers Who Delayed Building For 12 Years: Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari said it was a "matter of shame" that the Rs 250 crore-project was finalised in 2008, had its tender awarded in 2011 and took another nine years to build.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the NHAI headquarters via video conferencing.

New Delhi:

Most politicians would simply be too happy to preside over flashy inaugurations to admonish officials for any kind of lapses. Nitin Gadkari is not among them.

The Union Transport Minister who enjoys rare bipartisan respect for his no-nonsense style was in his characteristic form when he pulled up government officers for an inordinate delay in finishing a project.

While opening the new headquarters of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Sunday, the minister noted how it took 12 years to complete the building.

Mr Gadkari said it was a "matter of shame" that the Rs 250 crore-project was finalised in 2008, had its tender awarded in 2011 and took another nine years to build.

Two governments and eight chairmen had passed through the organisation while the building was under construction, he said, speaking via video-conferencing.

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"The current chairman and members are unrelated to it. But the great personalities who worked on it from 2011 to 2020, If possible, their photos should be put up in the building. They delayed decisions for nine years," he said.

"We say with pride that we will complete the Delhi-Mumbai expressway in two to three years. It is worth Rs 80,000 to 1 lakh crore. But it took so many years to complete this project of Rs 250 crore," Mr Gadkari said.

Saying that the national highway authority needed urgent reforms, he said, the time had come to act against the non-performing employees.

"We have been unable to identify performance bottlenecks. Many committees were formed, they gave their report. But these corrupt and inept and lazy people of NHAI are so powerful that despite orders, they take wrong decisions," he said.