New Delhi: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is often commended for speaking his mind in his signature no-nonsense style, recently ditched an inaugural ceremony and said it was “a matter of shame” that the project took over 12 years to complete. Also Read - IIT Jodhpur to Help NHAI in Better Design And Infrastructure For Highways

Speaking at the inauguration of NHAI’s new building in Nagpur via video conference, Gadkari said that the pictures of those officials responsible for the delay “should be hung on the wall” and displayed on the building so that “people get to know these great personalities who took nine years to construct a building”. Also Read - Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Goes Into Self-Isolation

Gadkari noted that the ₹ 250 crore-project which was finalised in 2008 had been awarded tender in 2011. Two governments and eight chairmen had passed through the organisation while the building was still under construction, he pointed out. Also Read - India Should Now Focus on Alternative Biofuel Technologies: Gadkari

“We say with pride that we will complete the Delhi-Mumbai expressway in two to three years. It is worth ₹ 80,000 to 1 lakh crore. But it took so many years to complete this project of ₹ 250 crore,” the Union Minister said.

“These people who want to create complications in the organisation instead of working towards the project are glued (to their chairs) for 10 to 12 years,” Gadkari said, adding that he questions not their integrity but the “poisonous” thought processes.

“We have been unable to identify performance bottlenecks. Many committees were formed, they gave their report. But these corrupt and inept and lazy people of NHAI are so powerful that despite orders, they take wrong decisions,” he said.

Gadkari asked authorities to create a research paper with a list of such officials handled this project and failed to make any decisions by stalling it for over 10 years. He said that action should be taken against the officials responsible for such delays.