GQ's bridge too far: Only 110 m left for highway project to be completed

FP

Thirteen years after it was launched by the Atal Behari Vajpayee government, the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ), India's most ambitious highway project, is incomplete. Or almost complete.

A 110-metre section is all that remains to be completed of the GQ, a total 5,846 km of highways connecting the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The incomplete section is a bridge over a railway line on the Sunakhala-Ganjam section of NH 5, part of the Chennai-Kolkata arm.

"The entire length of GQ has been completed, except 110 metres," MoS, Road Transport and Highways, Sarvey Sathyanarayana told the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

A senior government official said an earlier contractor had defaulted on the project, which had to be awarded to another contractor. "Also, the railway bridge has been hanging fire because of pending approvals, which came through only this February," he said.

Interestingly, an NHAI report on the status of projects for the period ending February 28, 2013, claims the GQ is "100 per cent complete". "What is 110 metres in reference to a 5,846-km project? The status report has rounded it off," said a senior NHAI official.

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