Vikash Sharma

Massive focus is already being given to the development of road infrastructure in the country and in Odisha as well, said Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Saturday.

While addressing the 13th edition of OTV’s annual convention ‘OTV Foresight 2023-- Changing Times Changing Minds’, Gadkari said, “The national highway road infrastructure in Odisha will be equivalent to USA by the end of 2024. This is going to accelerate the development and growth in Odisha.”

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In a video message, Gadkari said, “It is the same way we are working in Bihar, UP, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and everywhere in the country. The best technology is being used and we are also working on alternative fuel- ethanol, Bio-CNG, bio-diesel, electric and green hydrogen.”

“At present, the logistic cost in India is 16 per cent and it is 8-10 percent in China, and in USA & European countries it is 12 per cent. Our mission is to take it to single digit by 9 per cent. By making good and green highways, we are confident that by the end of 2024, we are going to reduce the logistic cost by less than 10 or 9 per cent. It is a really great thing which can be useful for the import and exports,” said Gadkari.

Gadkari further said that Indian infrastructure is developing very fast and it is one of one the main reasons that the growth rate is very high in India. If we want to start industry, we need road infrastructure, water, power, transport and communication.

“Without industry, we cannot have capital investment. If we have industry and capital investment, we will create employment potential and from employment potential, we can eradicate poverty,” said Gadkari.

The Union Minister said that for development, the challenge for society and the government is how to increase employment potential in the country. Road infra and the way it is being developed, it is at par with international standards. We are making two-way, four & six-lane roads, eight-lane roads and now green express highway and industrial corridors, he said.

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“We are getting cooperation from state governments, and we are making industrial clusters and logistic park; there is an opportunity for development and creation of more employment opportunities,” said the Union Minister.

Gadkari further said that the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to make 60 percent of the power solar or green power. We are marching towards taking green power, wind and hydropower to 100 per cent and creating a green India, he stated.

“The very important thing for the society and the country is circulation of economy. I always tell people about conversion of waste into wealth. Innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, science, research and successful practices, which we name them knowledge, and conversion of knowledge into wealth is the future,” he said.

“At the same time, in the circulation economy, we have started scrapping policy by which it will be easy for us to get aluminium, copper, rubber and steel at low cost and we can reduce the cost of automobiles and final products by 25 to 30 percent. It is the time that we need to develop India. There is a huge potential and the whole world is interested to deal with India. We are the fastest growing economy and the mission of our Prime Minister is to make India a USD 5 Trillion economy and for that reason, we are developing good infrastructure,” said the Union Minister.

“We have completed 100 airports and we are now moving towards mass and rapid transport on electricity. The electric vehicles are very popular. Three important stakeholders of the society where we need to concentrate on ethics, economy, ecology and environment. We have to make green India, Atma Nirbhar Bharat and be super economic power -‘Vishwa Guru’. It is for this reason, we are making good infrastructure. I promise the people in Odisha that we will give you before end of 2024, international standards of road infrastructure, and NH which is equivalent to USA,” Gadkari added.