Nitin Gadkari said that photographs of the officials concerned should be hung so that people know about those “great personalities” who took nine years to construct the new NHAI building.

Livid about delay in completing NHAI building Gadkari slams officials at inaugurationScreengrab
news Infrastructure Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 20:20

"At such events, it is a tradition to extend greetings after any new work is completed... But I don't know how to do congratulate you,” said Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari at the virtual opening ceremony of the new building of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in Dwarka in Gujarat, on Monday. The Union Minister was markedly not pleased with the attitude of the top officials of NHAI for delaying several projects, and he made no bones about his displeasure.

“It was decided in 2008 how the building would be built. The tender was awarded in 2011 and this Rs 200-250 crore worth of work has been completed today, after nine years. Two governments and eight chairmen have changed by the time the construction has been completed," Gadkari said. 

He also said that the photographs of the officials responsible for the delay should be displayed in the building "so that people can come to know about those great personalities who took nine years to construct a building." Taking a dig at the officials, Gadkari said that a research paper should also come out over the delay in constructing the building.

The Union Minister said there are many officials who do not take any decisions despite working in the NHAI for over 10 to 12 years.

“Projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore take three years and this project, which is worth Rs 200 crore, took 10 years to complete. So this is not something to be congratulated. I am ashamed,” Gadkari also said.

He also pulled up officials for not taking decisions and creating more complications instead. “The delay in the construction of this building shows how useless and worthless this tradition of the CGM (Chief General Managers) and GM (General Managers). I would like to say that now that the building has been completed, please create a research paper on the officials who handled this project and did not make any decisions and how they stalled the project,” Gadkari said.

He added that reforms in NHAI are necessary and since IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) graduates prefer private-sector jobs, people who are not worthy of working in NHAI end up getting appointed and are promoted to higher positions. He added that action should be taken for officials responsible for such delays.

Watch Nitin Gadkari’s speech here: 

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