Maharashtra, home state of Nitin Gadkari, accounted for 50% of the new highway development projects sanctioned in the ongoing financial year, data from the ministry of road transport and highways showed.

A total of 520 new projects — including expansions — worth Rs 53,264 cr was sanctioned by Gadkari’s ministry in the ongoing financial year.

Out of these, 131 projects worth Rs 26,769 were awarded to Maharashtra (see chart.)

In comparison, neighbouring state of Karnataka got just Rs 2,623 cr worth of projects, while Uttar Pradesh got just Rs 2,007 cr worth of projects.

Madhya Pradesh, one of India’s largest states, got 1,145 cr worth of new projects this year.

Among those who got comparatively less is also Gujarat, which got only Rs 238 cr, and Haryana, which got Rs 237 cr worth of projects.

ALLOCATION TARGET MET

The big allocations meant that Gadkari was able to partially meet his targets for the year.

The minister had set a target of awarding new projects involving the construction of 25,000 km of highway projects, and expected to add 15,000 km on the ground in the current year.

While the actual addition is likely to be only around 7,200 km, the figure of 53,264 cr indicates that awards for construction of 25,000 cr were indeed given out. The average cost of constructing one km of highway in India is Rs 2 cr.

In comparison, the total length of highways constructed in the preceding financial year (2015-16) was only around 6,000 km and the total length of highways awarded was around 10,000 km.

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