Millennium Post

Rs 25L cr investment in highways, shipping in 5 yrs, says Gadkari

To overhaul infrastructure, government is lining up Rs 25 lakh crore for the highways and shipping sectors in 5 years, including Rs 4 lakh crore worth of projects awarded so far, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said.

“We are doing massive work in the infrastructure sector.

There will be investment worth Rs 25 lakh crore in highways and shipping in 5 years,” Gadkari, who holds road transport, highways and shipping, said while addressing the Economic Editors Conference 2016.

His estimate is the investment of Rs 25 lakh crore in the sector is bound to boost GDP by 3 per cent and this will also create at least 5 crore jobs.

According to the minister, so far projects worth Rs 4 lakh crore have been awarded, including projects worth Rs 3.17 lakh crore in highways and Rs 80,000 crore in shipping.

He backed up his claims saying the massive work has led to construction of 22 km of highways per day whereas the ministry is striving to achieve 42 km a day target and is working hard in that direction.

Highway construction target for 2016-17 is 15,000 km and “till October, we constructed 3,591 km”, he said.

The minister said the current BJP government so far has constructed 14,594 km of highways while it has awarded projects for construction of 21,247 km.

Ram Sethu structure will not be demolished: Gadkari 

Ram Sethu structure will not be demolished at any cost for the construction of Sethusamudram shipping canal project, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said.

“Regarding Ram Sethu, we are very much committed that at any cost we will respect the feeling of the people. We will not demolish it,” Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said at the Economic Editors Conference here.

Replying to a query, the Minister said the “issue (Sethusamudram) is sub-judice.” 

He said there there were six alternative options for the project and “Cabinet will take a decision on it.” 

Earlier, the Centre had given RITES, a state-owned consultancy organization in transport, infrastructure sectors, the task of preparing alternatives available to save the structure, which holds religious significance for Hindus.

According to Hindu legends, the structure was built by Lord Rama and his army of apes and monkeys to reach Lanka. 
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