Nitin Gadkari says the work on the Mumbai-Goa highway will be completed by December, which would give a huge boost to development in Maharashtra's Konkan region, PTI reports.
Gadkari, India's minister of road transport and highways, says several works in the state's Konkan region were held up due to issues like land acquisition, permissions, contractor problems.
He also announced the construction of the Rs 13,000 crore (Rs 130 billion) Morbe-Karanjade road, which will go through the Jawaharlal Nehru port and reduce the time needed to cover the distance between Mumbai and Delhi to 12 hours.
"The Mumbai-Goa highway touches 66 tourism spots in Maharashtra's Konkan. It will give development a high boost. It will also ensure quick transportation of fruits and other produce the region is famous for," Gadkari said.
He blamed the contractors who were given two stretches for construction in 2011 for the delay. The highway is being built and widened in 11 phases.
The minister also asked state governments to go in for roads with 6-8 inch topping so that they have a life of 50 years, as well as periodic updating of black spots for proactive rectification.
Gadkari, who conducted an aerial survey of the Mumbai-Goa National Highway, said his ministry is in the process of introducing satellite-based fare collection on highways instead of having toll nakas that obstruct free flow of traffic.