The golden quadrilateral project was delayed by a year and would be completed by December 2005, T R Baalu, Union minister for road transport and highways, said in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The minister also said the entire cost of the National Highway Development Programme had been raised to Rs 65,000 crore (Rs 650 billion) from Rs 54,000 crore (Rs 540 billion).
The minister pointed out that about 47.5 per cent work of the ongoing quadrilateral project was completed.
The government will award contracts of nearly Rs 35,000 crore (Rs 350 billion) for the North-South-East-West corridor project by this fiscal. While Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) will be spent on golden quadrilateral project, the rest will be for the NSEW Corridor.
"The target for completing the NSEW project, which is in the second phase of the National Highway Development Programme, is December 2007, and we intend to give all contracts by March 2005, so that the actual work could be completed in time," Baalu said.The National Highway Authority of India was overseeing the quadrilateral project. It had so far spent about Rs 17,000 crore (Rs 170 billion).