Nitin Gadkari On Government's Road Construction Push: Highlights

Bharatmala programme is the biggest ever road building programme after National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

New Delhi:  The Bharatmala project will not only boost road connectivity but also cut down road accident deaths by at least 50% in India, Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari has told NDTV in an exclusive interview. Speaking to NDTV's Vikram Chandra on 'Reality Check', Mr Gadkari said projects in the road construction, shipping, inland waterways and ports sectors, when complete, will add 2-3% to the GDP. Bharatmala programme is the biggest ever road building programme after National Highways Development Project (NHDP) that saw development of about 50,000 km of roadways, and aims at improving connectivity in border and other areas.

Here are the highlights of Nitin Gadkari's interview to NDTV:

  • Some unfinished work from the Golden quadrilateral project (during Vajpayee era) included in Bharatmala project
  • Ring roads of 22 cities will be part of Bharatmala programme
  • Roads worth 20,000 cr being built to improve port connectivity
  • There will be 22 connective points linking India with Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar at an estimated cost 24,000 crore. This will boost trade
  • For economic corridors, we have decided to build 4 lane-roads for places that 10,000 PCU( Passenger Car Equivalent) traffic, 6-lane roads for 20,000 PCU traffic and 8-lane roads for 30,000 PCU traffic and above
  • When I took over the ministry, India had a road length of 52 lakh km of which 2% (96,000 km) was national highways. It used to cater to 40% of India's traffic
  • We plan to expand the national highway network to 2 lakh km. After which 80% traffic will run on national highways that will form 4% of India's roads
  • After 5 years, there will be 1 crore direct and indirect jobs
  • Roads being built at 23 km/day till March this year
  • Road project contracts worth 16,000 cr awarded in 2015-16
  • Each year, India sees 5 lakh road accidents in which 1.5 lakh people die
  • When Bharatmala project is complete, road accident deaths will come down by at least 50%. This is our priority more than improving road connectivity
  • If you want good services, then you have to pay for it
  • When I became minister, 2 km roads per day were built. Till March-end this year, roads were built at 23 km per day. My target is to build roads at 40 kms a day
  • I hold review meetings till 9-10 pm and chase each and every project
  • NHAI can raise the funds
  • Around 2 km of road was build during a day, we have managed to raise the number to 23 km a day in March
  • I don't think that it will be tough to build 40 km of road a day
  • There are no lack of funds in this country
  • When I became transport minister, I had decided to bring in 25 lakh crore investment in this sector, bring in 1 crore jobs, and add 2- 3% to GDP growth
  • Lots of government projects have hit roadblocks, but we see problems as opportunities
  • But there are some who see opportunities as problems
  • This is just the beginning, there will be problems in the initial months
On auto sector
  • India's auto industry worth 4.5 lakh cr, exports 1.44 lakh crore per year.
  • This sector generates a lot of jobs. I don't want to shut it down
On Rahul Gandhi
  • Rahul has not lived up to the expectation
  • Rahul Gandhi still has to rise to reach to the stature of Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi
  • Rahul Gandhi needs to change his advisors first. And then it's up to the people to decide

On Modi government
  • What Congress has not done in 50 years, Modi goverment has completed in 3 years
  • Wrong to blame PM for everything
  • innovation, technology
  • For the first time, India is being talked as a power in the world
  • Indian roads will be world class in future

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