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Ensure maximum safety on roads to save lives: Gadkari

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Hyderabad, 17 Dec 2016 : Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Saturday called upon the stakeholders in road construction to accord top priority to saving lives by taking measures to prevent road accidents.

The minister asked engineers, construction firms and other stakeholders to play their respective roles in ensuring best quality roads adhering to all safety norms.

Addressing the 77th Annual Session of the Indian Road Congress (IRC) here, he voiced concern over the loss of 1.5 lakh lives in five lakh road accidents every year in India.

Gadkari said out of 52 lakh km road length in the country, the national highways are just 96,000 km. The national highways were just two per cent of the total roads but carry 40 per cent of the total traffic.

The minister said the first decision taken by his ministry was to increase the length of national highways to two lakh km. “We have already declared 1,65,000 km as national highway and we will be adding another 35,000 km in the coming days,” he said.

Gadkari claimed that when he took over as the minister, 403 projects worth Rs 3.75 lakh crore were stalled due to the delay in land acquisition and environmental and forest clearances.

He said the work on 95 per cent of the projects was resumed with new Detailed Project Reports (DPRs).

The DPRs, he said, had to be perfect and prepared with a vision and in tune with the 21st century requirements. In the past, bridges and underpasses were cancelled to save money, which led to accidents.

The minister stressed the need for innovation and research to bring down the cost of construction and improve the quality of roads.

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released from detention after 14 months

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Jammu, 13 Oct : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday released from detention. “PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is being released from detention,” said Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

A government order issued on Tuesday night said her detention was being revoked with immediate effect.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration in July had extended her detention by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

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SAD breaks alliance with BJP Leaves NDA in protest against farmers ordinance

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Chandigarh, 26 Sep : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has severed its alliance with the BJP. The Akali Dal had a 22-year-old alliance with the BJP.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Akali Dal’s Kaur Committee which lasted for more than four hours today. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal addressed the press after the meeting and announced that he would no longer be a part of BJP-NDA.

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