India's 1st electric highway is my dream: Gadkari

New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said making India's first electric highway between Delhi and Jaipur is his dream.

Addressing an event, Gadkari further said so far, the government has received 47 proposals to set up ropeway cables in Manipur, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. "My dream is to make an electric highway between Delhi and Jaipur," he said.

The road transport and highways minister said his ministry's budget is good, and the market is ready to support it.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Budget for 2022-23 has allocated Rs 1.99 lakh crore for the road transport and highways ministry.

Of this, Rs 1.34 lakh crore will be allocated to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is primarily responsible for the development of NHs and expressways across the country. Replying to a question, Gadkari, who is known for his frank views, said that NHAI should take quick decisions.

"We need to reform NHAI...the delay in decision-making is one of the things where we need to improve NHAI," he noted.

Gadkari said NHAI is constructing 650 roadside amenities and expressed his disappointment with the amenities developed by some contractors on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway.

"I am very sorry to say, some of the contractors constructed roadside amenities (by the side of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway), which are worse than toilets," he said. The minister said he has taken the contractors to task for building such poor infrastructure that no one would like to use.

Gadkari said his dream is to make bitumen (used for road construction) from biomass. "I am planning to formulate a policy for that where we can make bitumen from biomass," he said.

Meanwhile, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday will inaugurate a pilot project for hydrogen-based advanced fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), according to an official statement.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, along with the International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT), is conducting a pilot project to study and evaluate the world's most advanced FCEV Toyota Mirai, which runs on hydrogen, on Indian roads and climatic conditions.

This will be the first-of-its-kind project in the country aimed at spreading awareness about hydrogen and FCEV technology, and disseminating its benefits to support hydrogen-based society for India, it said.

Gadkari will inaugurate this pilot project and also demonstrate Toyota Mirai FCEV on March 16, 2022, the

statement said.

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