New Delhi: After taking stock of the health of the Railway Ministry before naming the new Railway Minister, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting on Wednesday to take stock of the projects related to national highways.

The senior officials of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Planning Commission would attend the meeting.

This is for the first time the Prime Minister will be doing an assessment of the ongoing projects like highways, express-ways, ring road, overbridge and underpasses after Kamal Nath made way for CP Joshi as the Road Transport and Highways Minister.

The June 8 meeting will be held in the backdrop of delays in achieving the target for building 20 km of road a day which was set long before by the Highways Ministry. At present it has been hardly constructing 12 km of roads per day which clearly indicates the condition of highway projects at hand.

Already the time and cost of 65 percent NH projects has extended. Cost of some projects has increased by 50 percent.
Dejected over all this, CP Joshi who took the charge of ministry after Kamal Nath would brief the prime minister about the present condition of all projects.

Joshi is also concerned about the functioning of NHAI which is under temporary supervision of Highways Ministry Secretary R S Gujral.
NHAI and Highways Ministry, both have no answer for several projects running behind deadline. Among them are Nizamuddin –Dasna project of NH-24, Eastern Peripheral Expressway, Overbridge construction on NH-25 and ring road construction on NH-7.
NHAI has been also been under scanner fro irregularity in its recruitment process.

JPN/Bureau