Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday inaugurated and laid foundation stone for 11 national highway projects worth Rs 20,000 crore in Haryana as part of the new economic corridor.
In the "new economic corridor", more than Rs 20,000 crore will be invested to ensure smooth connectivity from Haryana to other states, including Punjab, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said in his address through video conferencing.
"These highways will pave the way for infrastructure development at large scale and farmers will get better market access," he said.
The online function was presided over by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Union Ministers Gen VK Singh (retd), Krishan Pal Gurjar, Rao Inderjit Singh, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman SS Sandhu were also present during the function.
The 35.45-km 4-lane Rohna/Hasangarh to Jhajjar section of NH 334B costing Rs 1,183 crore, 70 km 4-laning of Punjab-Haryana border to Jind section of NH 71 (Rs 857 crore), and the 85.36 km 2-lane with paved shoulders Jind-Karnal Highway on NH 709 (Rs 200 crore) were the three projects inaugurated.
Foundation stones were laid for eight projects worth over Rs 17,000 crore, including 227 km 6-lane access controlled Greenfield Expressway from Ismailpur to Narnaul on NH 152D costing Rs 8,650 crore, 46 km 4-lane Gurugram Pataudi-Rewari section of NH 352W (Rs 1,524 crore) and 14.4 km 4-lane Rewari bypass for Rs 928 crore.
Mr Khattar said improved road connectivity will further boost industrial growth and usher in development in the state.
Mr Gadkari said these projects will further speed up Haryana's progress. He said Delhi-Amritsar-Katra highway via Jind and Delhi-Mumbai highway projects being built will also be beneficial for Haryana.
"These highways are important for country's development. Be it Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir UT, better connectivity with western part of India will further boost industrial growth," he said.
"I keep telling people that money is not problem, will power is needed, technology and resources are secondary. First, you need to have will to work and right intent," he added.
Mr Gadkari, who is also the MSME Minister, said he has set a target of creating 5 crore new jobs in next five years.
"If we have to bring industrial investment, water, power, transport and communication - these four things are must for all-round development. When industry comes, capital will come, when industry and capital come these will generate jobs and help in poverty alleviation," he said.
Mr Gadkari said there is tremendous scope for agro MSMEs in Punjab and Haryana as both the states are known for their hard working farmers.
He suggested to Khattar that the state government can plan setting up industrial clusters around green corridors and formulate a separate scheme for agro MSMEs.
He said Haryana can make ethanol from rice, which Centre can purchase.
"In coming years, we can create five lakh crore ethanol economy in the country and Haryana and Punjab can play an important role in this and farmers will benefit from it," he said.
On the issue of pollution caused due to burning crop stubble, Mr Gadkari said there are proven technologies from which nearly 1 tonne of bio-CNG is produced from 5 tonnes of stubble.
"Country is changing because of technology and to support new technologies is the job of Centre and state governments," he said.
The government "will do road projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore in Haryana" within two years of second term of government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On major road projects like Delhi-Mumbai expressway, he said "we are making provision in NHAI that for industrial clusters we will give connectivity from the road to airport and railway stations...new smart villages, cities can come up".
Stating that the expressway starts from Sohna in Gurugram, Mr Gadkari assured Khattar that his ministry is ready to work with the state government for setting up new townships and clusters from Sohna till Rajasthan border.
Mr Gadkari said a highway will also be built from Jalandhar to Ajmer, which will help in bringing new highways to backward areas and lead to their development.
Investments in highways and other infrastructure projects will help boost the economy amidst the coronavirus pandemic, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)