Road Construction To Reach 40Km/Day Target Next Year: Gadkari
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said road construction would further gather momentum with average addition of 40 kilometre (km) every day from next year.
"When we took over, the average road construction was two km per day which has now been accelerated to 28 km per day. It will further go up to 40 km per day next year," the minister said while replying to debate on the Bill to amend Central Road Fund (CRF) Act, 2000.
The Act regulates the CRF that is credited with the cess collected on diesel and petrol. The amount collected is then released to the National Highways Authority of India, and to the state/union territory for the development of national and state highways. The amendment Bill passed by the Lok Sabha on December 19 seeks to allocate a share of this cess towards the development of inland waterways.
Emphasising that there is huge requirement of funds for infrastructure development, Gadkari said the government intended to develop 12-15 inland waterways in the next two years with the help and support of all stakeholders. Twelve major ports with combined profit of Rs 7,000 crore have been asked to invest a portion of their profit for development of waterways.
Talking about various initiatives taken by the government to develop inland waterways in the country, he said, "Our first priority is waterways, second railways and third roads."
Work had already started on 10 waterways and tenders had been issued, he said, adding these would be operational by the end of 2018. Terming waterways as the cheapest mode of transportation, he said there were 111 national waterways in the country which could be used for the purpose. Like airports, the country would soon be dotted with sea ports, he said.
The minister said that the Mumbai to Goa cruise would start from next month, and there was also plan to start cruise from Mumbai to Andaman and Nicobar.
The Rs 60,000-crore Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh would be completed by 2019, Gadkari said.
With inputs from Housing News