Not a trader of dreams, work towards achieving them: Gadkari

NEW DELHI
21 May 2017

Asserting that he is not a "trader of dreams" but a person with a track record of "actualising" them, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Sunday said India saw awards for building 16,800 kms of roads in the last fiscal which was a world record of sorts.
Claiming that giant steps are underway to overhaul the country's infrastructure with a target for execution of works worth Rs 25 lakh crore in five years, Gadkari said projects worth Rs 6.5 lakh crore have already been awarded.
"I am not a trader of dreams rather I am a person with strong commitment who has a track record of actualising dreams which he shows.
"I am not a man of empty words and a record can be kept of the promises I make," Road Transport, Shipping and Highways Minister Gadkari said in reply to a query at the India Today Editors Roundtable here.
The country saw awards for building 16,800 kms of roads in the last fiscal which was a "world record" of sorts, he added.
Gadkari said his idea of developing a city like Davos in Auli in Uttarakhand could very well be realised as it is already a ski destination in Chamoli district and falls on the way to Badrinath.
A Rs 12,000 crore project is on for developing 900 km of National Highways in Uttarakhand for improving connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres -- Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in the Himalayas, he said.
The minister said the work on the project is likely to be completed before 2018 and work orders worth Rs 6,500 crore have already been awarded.
Besides, tough Himalayan rocks are being cut to make the pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar, linked to the faith of millions of Indians, easy, he said.
Gadkari added the government is constructing a highway through Uttarakhand for Kailash-Mansarovar to make it easy for people to visit the pilgrimage place in the high altitudes which at present can be reached only through the arduous Lipulekh Pass route and Nathu La route, opened by China in 2015.
"Air Force, BRO and Defence are working on the project.
Helipad has been constructed there for MI 26 helicopters," the minister said adding that the work is on in full swing on his dream project.
Likewise, massive work is on to develop waterways, he said, adding that Rs 4,000 crore work is on to develop Varanasi-Haldia stretch of the Ganges where three multimodal hubs are being constructed.
The minister exuded confidence that the work on the Ganga project is likely to be completed by December next year.
Steps being taken to ease traffic on Indian roads
On unprecedented growth of vehicles, he admitted that automobile sector in the country is growing at the rate of 22 per cent but at the same time massive steps are on to ease the traffic on Indian roads.
He said consent from the Defence Ministry has been obtained for widening the road at Dhaula Kuan till 11 Murti.
Besides, there are projects like Metrino for 70 km Dhaula Kuan - Manesar stretch.
Work on National Highway 24 is also underway in full swing, he said, taking a dig at a section of media as well as NGOs, terming them a "microscopic community" who were opposed to any idea. (PTI)