- Gadkari said that India's infrastructure will be comparable to USA by 2024
- He said this year his department has been allocated Rs 1,80,000 crore for road infrastructure
- Gadkari stated 22 green expressways will be built to cover the shortest distances throughout India
India TV Samvaad: Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today said, India’s road infrastructure will be comparable to that of the United States by 2024.
Replying to questions at India TV Samvaad Conclave here today, Gadkari said, in the last eight years, his ministry has taken up highway projects to the tune of Rs 50 lakh crore, both with government support and funds outsourced. This year, Rs 1,80,000 crore has been allocated for road infrastructure, he said.
Gadkari said, 22 green expressways will be built covering the shortest distances throughout India. Citing his achievements, he said, travel time between Delhi and Meerut has come down to 40 minutes, between Delhi and Haridwar to two hours, between Delhi and Chandigarh to 2 hours 15 minutes, between Delhi and Amritsar to four hours, and very soon travel time between Delhi and Katra will be reduced to six hours, between Delhi and Srinagar to 8 hours, and between Delhi and Mumbai to 12 hours. Similarly, travel time between Chennai and Bengaluru will be reduced by one and a half-hour.
He said, his ministry will be building 285 km long tunnels at a cost of Rs 2.5 lakh crore. This will include the 14.2 km long Zoji La tunnel, which will be Asia’s longest tunnel, linking Sonmarg with Kargil.
Watch the full interview with Nitin Gadkari on this link
On the automobile front, Gadkari promised that India will, in coming years, become the world’s no. 1 automobile manufacturing hub. “The Indian automobile industry’s turnover now is Rs 6.5 lakh crore, and in the next five years, it may rise to Rs 15 lakh crore. This industry contributes the largest proportion of GST to Centre and states and gives employment to 4.5 crore people. Two crores more jobs will be given in this industry in the next few years.”
On General Motors and Ford winding up operations in India, Gadkari pointed out that Indian auto companies are now on the rise. “The number of four-wheelers and two-wheelers being sold has increased exponentially by three to four times. This is all part of the business. Bajaj, Honda and TVS are exporting nearly 50 per cent of their two-wheelers abroad.
On Elon Musk refusing to set up an automobile plant in India, Gadkari said, “We welcome Elon Musk, but he wanted to market his cars in India after manufacturing them in China. We told him, you manufacture and market your cars in India”.
Gadkari promised that by 2024, the prices of electric vehicles will reduce to the same level, if not lesser than the prices of diesel and petrol vehicles. “Tata and Mahindra have huge waiting lists of people who want to buy electric vehicles”, he said.