Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME has directed officials of National Highways Authority of India to speed up the implementation of projects through faster decision making and stricter monitoring. The Minister, along with the MoS, Gen(Retd) V.K.Singh, held a day long review of the progress of national highways projects at the NHAI headquarters here today, during which he also addressed regional officers through video conferencing.Re-emphasizing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s stress on the need for fast growth of infrastructure, Shri Gadkari said that there is an urgent need to develop a positive, transparent, corruption free working system with time bound decision making.Delayed decisions are totally unacceptable, he said, as they lead tocolossal loss of time and resources, and add to the woes of people. In this regard he also directed regional officers to be proactive in coordinating with district officials to fast track land acquisition and other such issues.The Minister also talked about the need to bring down construction costs through new technology and innovative means. He said there is enough availability of funds for construction of national highways through various sources including long term funding from banks. However,in order to improve the economic viability of projects it is necessary to cut down construction costs by employing new materials, innovative technology, and by fast tracking decision making to avoid associated cost escalation.Shri Gadkari also stressed upon the need for performance audit and said that officials must ensure that the award and construction targets for the year are fully met.MoS, Gen(Retd) V.K.Singh also addressed the regional officers and called for positive, concerted action from them that was aimed at fulfilling the targets of the Ministry and the expectations of the people of the country.Shri Gadkari also inaugurated NHAI’s GIS based Plantation Monitoring System that assigns a unique digital address to each sapling planted on a national highway, making it possible to monitor its progress. The Minister also inaugurated NHAI’sonline TollRemittance Management System today.