NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked the state chief secretaries to take keen interest in land acquisition while flagging the delays in the process impacting time and cost overrun of infrastructure projects.
He also directed the forest and environment ministry to expedite the clearances for projects so that these get completed within the set time frame, sources said.
While chairing a PRAGATI meeting, the web-based review of delayed projects and central schemes across sectors, with all secretaries in the central government and state chief secretaries, the PM also directed the top bureaucrats to implement the flagship Poshan Abhiyan in mission mode in each state with a whole of government approach. Sources said the PM mentioned “which parent doesn’t want nutrition for their children”.
“He said this should be considered as a scheme to be implemented by the health ministry or women and child welfare ministry, but by all government departments and greater involvement of state governments is more crucial for its success,” said an official, who did not wish to be named. In an official release, the PMO said, “He (PM) also talked about participation of self-help groups (SHGs) and other local organisations in promoting awareness about children’s health and nutrition at the grass root level, which will help in improving the reach and uptake of the Abhiyaan.”
On the issue of delay in land acquisition, the PM told the chief secretaries that they have enough experience of dealing with different critical issues and hence they should focus on faster land acquisition. State government and local agencies play a more crucial role in land acquisition for all central government projects.
“The Prime Minister stressed upon timely completion of projects to avoid cost overruns,” the PMO said.

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