The government is targeting to award road projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore in North East in the next five years, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.

Chairing the meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Gadkari informed that “there is a target to award road projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore in the North East during the next five years.”

The meeting was held here last evening to discuss the functioning of National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd ( NHIDCL) and the issue of road safety, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.

Through a presentation made on the functioning of NHIDCL, the committee was informed the company is working to fast pace the construction of National Highways and other infrastructure in the North Eastern states and strategic areas.

NHIDCL is entrusted with 109 projects in 13 states including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Sikkim and West Bengal.

The total length of the projects is 7,148 km and they are at various stages of project development, the statement said.

The minister also informed that several bridges have come up on the river Brahmaputra, providing relief to a large number of people.

Gadkari also informed there are plans for making 1,100 km all-weather road at Rs 12,000 crore in Uttarakhand, of which about Rs 650-700 crore worth of work has already been awarded.

Regarding road safety, the committee was informed that the government has set a target to reduce road accident fatalities by 50% by 2020 and has taken several steps to prevent road accidents.

A National Road Safety Policy has been approved, which outlines various policy measures like promoting awareness, establishing road safety information database, encouraging safer road infrastructure, enforcement of safety laws etc.

The government has constituted the National Road Safety Council as the apex body to take policy decisions in the matter of road safety.

“The Ministry has evolved a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the problem based on the 4 Es viz Education, Engineering ( both of roads and vehicles) Enforcement and Emergency Care,” the statement said.