The government is awaiting legal opinion on whether the NHAI can construct smart cities, villages and logistic parks along the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway project that could usher in development in the most backward, tribal and far-flung areas, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
The Rs 1 lakh crore flagship Delhi-Mumbai Expressway project being built on a new alignment will pass through backward and far-flung tribal areas of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and is scheduled to be completed within three years.
“We are looking into building smart cities, villages, logistic parks, industrial clusters and road side amenities besides other facilities along the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, which is on a new alignment.
“We have sought legal opinion on whether National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) can build it. If the legal opinion comes positive then we will immediately proceed in this direction,” Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Gadkari told in an interview.
The Minister said, though the provisions are there for it in the NHAI constitution since the time it was incorporated but the Ministry is still taking a legal opinion so that it can proceed on the ambitious project as it would change the face of development in tribal areas, which are backward and shorn of development.
In case the opinion is in negative then “we will seek Cabinet nod on the proposal,” he said and added that the move will not only result in development of the areas but would also generate huge employment opportunities.