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Thursday, July 25, 2024

India Aims to Match US Road Infrastructure in Five Years: Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, has set an ambitious goal for India to achieve road infrastructure comparable to that of the United States within the next five years. In a mission to enhance road safety and efficiency, Gadkari highlighted that his ministry has awarded projects worth over Rs 50 lakh crore in the last nine years, simplifying contract sanctioning procedures and fostering transparency.

Gadkari expressed confidence in achieving this vision, emphasizing the transparent, time-bound, and quality-conscious approach of the ministry. He asserted that the collaborative effort involving the ministry, contractors, and bankers, coupled with an encouragement of excellence, has led to the ministry earning seven world records.

The minister emphasized the importance of futuristic infrastructure development for attracting domestic and foreign investments, aiming to alleviate poverty and generate employment. With aspirations to make India a leader in the automobile sector, Gadkari shared that the industry has surpassed Japan to become the third-largest, and he envisions doubling its size to Rs 15 lakh crore in the next five years.

Gadkari advocated for the adoption of electric and flex fuel vehicles to reduce fossil fuel consumption, citing the substantial import bill for fossil fuels. He highlighted the shift towards ethanol-powered vehicles and the establishment of ethanol pumps, empowering farmers to become both energy producers and food producers.

Discussing the future of public transportation, Gadkari mentioned initiatives such as ropeways, cable cars, and electric buses, foreseeing a transformation within five years towards a less polluting and cost-effective system.

To address congestion in metros, projects totaling over Rs 65,000 crore have been initiated, including the Dwarka Expressway, six-lane urban extension road in the National Capital, Eastern Peripheral Expressway, and Delhi-Meerut Expressway.

Gadkari acknowledged challenges in reducing accidents but stressed the need for a collective effort to change public mindset and improve awareness about road safety. He enlisted support from media, social institutions, educational institutions, NGOs, and celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar in this endeavor. Despite challenges, Gadkari remains optimistic about India’s progress in infrastructure and road safety.

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