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New Delhi : PM Narendra Modi on April 25, 2017, reviewed progress of key infrastructure sectors including roads, railways, airports, ports, digital, and coal. The review meeting, which lasted for about four and a half hours, was attended by top officials from PMO, NITI Aayog and all infrastructure Ministries of the Government of India.

In course of the presentation made by CEO, NITI Aayog, it was noted that remarkable progress has been made in several areas and infrastructure sectors. In a broad overview of the progress in the roads and railways sectors, the Prime Minister called for a consolidated approach to existing projects, and working towards their completion within strict timelines, according to a PIB release.

The highest ever average daily construction rate of 130 km has been achieved for rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. This led to an addition of 47,400 km of PMGSY roads in 2016-17. Altogether 11,641 additional habitations have been connected with roads in the same period.  Over 4,000 km of rural roads have been constructed using green technology in FY17. The use of non-conventional materials such as waste plastic, cold mix, geo-textiles, fly ash, iron and copper slag is being pushed aggressively, according to the PIB release.

The Prime Minister directed efficient monitoring of rural roads construction and their quality. For this, he emphasized on use of space technology in addition to the technologies already being used, such as the “Meri Sadak” App. He called for expeditious completion of vital links which will connect the remaining unconnected habitations at the earliest. The PM directed fpr use of new technologies in road construction also. He asked NITI Aayog to examine global standards in the application of technology for infrastructure creation, and their feasibility in India.

In the railways sector, 953 km of new lines were laid in 2016-17, as against the target of 400 km. Track electrification of over 2,000 km and gauge conversion of over 1,000 km was achieved in the same period. More than 1,500 unmanned level crossings were eliminated in 2016-17. Among measures to enhance customer experience, Wi-Fi access was enabled at 115 railway stations, and 34,000 bio-toilets added.
Progress of important projects in the roads and railways sectors, such as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Char Dham Project, the Quazigund-Banihal Tunnel, the Chenab railway bridge, and the Jiribam-Imphal project was also reviewed. In the aviation sector, the Regional Connectivity Scheme will connect 43 destinations including 31 unserved destinations. The passenger capacity in the aviation sector has reached 282 million passengers per annum, said the PIB release.
In the digital infrastructure sector, 2,187 mobile towers were installed in districts affected by Left Wing Extremists, in 2016-17. Progress of the National Optical Fibre Network was reviewed. The Prime Minister emphasized that the emerging digital connectivity network, which will connect thousands of Gram Panchayats within the next few months, should be backed up by appropriate governance steps, so that it can lead to better quality of life, and greater empowerment of people in the rural areas.

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