NEW DELHI : Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari said that India’s National Highway network carries 70 per cent of the cargo traffic and 90 per cent of the passenger traffic, the government is working aggressively to expand the network further.
Gadkari said “ Roads & Highways Summit 2022: Marching Towards Seamless Road Connectivity”, while addressing virtually the Chief Guest , an ambitious target to construct 18,000 km of national highway has been set by his ministry for the current financial year.
“We have set a target of 18,000 km of road construction during the financial year 2022-23 and the targeted pace of construction is 50km per day,” the Union minister said.
He also informed that the government aims to construct a total of 2,00,000 km by 2025.
The event is being attended by a number of top government officials, representatives from different sectors and a large number of stakeholders from infrastructure sector corporate houses. Some of the attending dignitaries are Alka Upadhyaya, Chairperson, NHAI; Ashish Kundra, Principal Secretary & Commissioner Transport, Government of Delhi; Satish Parakh, Managing Director, Ashoka Buildcon; Sudhendu Sinha, Adviser, NITI Aayog; Manoj Rustagi, Vice President – JSW Cement; and Sudhir Hoshing, CEO – Execution, IRB Infrastructure, among more.
Gadkari said, “When I took over (as the Road Transport & Highways Minister) in 2014, there were 400 stalled projects and banks were staring at an NPA of around Rs 3.85 lakh crore. We took on this challenge head on, and today almost 90% of these projects have been set rolling. We not just saved Indian banks from NPAs of around Rs 3 lakh crore, but also saved the taxpayers’ money by preventing further cost escalation of these projects.”
The major issue with at the stuck projects was that appointment dates were issued without acquiring even 50% of the land for them, he said, adding, “Now, we have made it a rule to issue appointment dates for any project only after acquiring at least 90% of the land.”