Centre aims to build 30 km NH every day: Gadkari

Bhubaneswar: The Centre has set a target of constructing 30 km of National Highways per day within two years and planned to spend Rs five lakh crore on road infrastructure development, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

“We have already been able to raise the daily NH construction from two km to 14 km, registering a 7-fold rise in the last one year. We are optimistic of crossing the target of 30 km NH construction in two years,” Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Gadkari told reporters here.

He said his ministry had already set a target to spend Rs 5 lakh crore in road infrastructure and Rs one lakh crore in inland water projects within five years.

Optimistic of taking up infrastructure works in road sector in a big way in the coming days, Gadkari claimed to have the credit of completing Mumbai-Pune Highways in record time and also built 55 flyovers in his career.

“I have done it in the past and will continue to achieve the goal,” the Union Minister claimed.

However, land acquisition, forest and environment clearance need to be made at an appropriate time, the Union minister said urging state governments to cooperate in the completion of NH projects.

“I have asked officials to issue work order only after 80 per cent of the required land is acquired,” Gadkari said.

To a question on ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s stand on the Land Bill, Gadkari said: “As per my expectation, he (Patnaik) will cooperate for development of the state as well as the country.”

Concerned over the death of about 1.5 lakh people per year due to road accidents, Gadkari said that his ministry will soon bring Road Transport and Safety Bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament.

“Three lakh people are injured annually in 5 lakh road accidents, while another 1.5 lakh lose their lives. We are serious about reducing accidents. We are planning to set up driving training centres in all assembly constituencies in the country. DLs will be issued after computer tests,” he said.

Expressing concern over about 30 per cent bogus DLs, the minister said educational qualification should not be a barrier to get the DLs.

“We will train the below eight standard persons and educate them on road safety before issuance of DLs,” Gadkari said.