Replying in the Lok Sabha on the Demands for Grants for Road Transport and Highways Ministry for 2022-23, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “I ensure that there will be only one toll plaza for a distance of 60km on NH and if there’s another plaza, it will be shut in next 3 months.”
Roads, infrastructure are always interrelated to a nation’s prosperity. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday began his announcement in Lok Sabha by quoting John Kennedy: “American roads aren’t good because America is rich. America is rich because American roads are good.”
With this he pointed to the recent development he plans to bring in for Indian roads, by announcing that there will be only one toll plaza for a distance of 60km on National Highways and if there are more than one toll plaza, such facility will be closed down in the next three months.
The minister also addressed the point raised by members and assured them that the government is considering providing passes to locals having Aadhaar cards who reside near toll plazas for smooth movement on highways.
As per the existing rule, vehicle owners living within a 20-kilometer radius off toll plazas on national highways can seek exemption from paying toll tax on submission of applications, along with the necessary documents including address proof.
Gadkari also highlighted the improvement in highway connectivity and road infrastructure by pointing out that it now takes only 40 minutes to travel to Meerut from Delhi as against four hours earlier. He said that the aim is to reduce the cost of construction and improve the quality. He further added that the milestone of 38 km/day road construction, which is a world record, was achieved by India last year.
The road travel between Delhi to Jaipur, and Delhi to Haridwar now takes 2 hours. Likewise, the travel time from Delhi to Amritsar is now four hours, Mr. Gadkari further highlighted.
He was further remarked that the work on Delhi-Amritsar-Katra highway work has begun & it would take 20 hours to be able to reach Mumbai from Srinagar and the distance between Delhi and Amritsar will be covered in four hours, by the end of this year.
He addressed the infrastructure development projects in Jammu and Kashmir & said that around 1,000 people are working on the Zojila tunnel project at present that’s worth ₹7,000 crores. He also brought to light that about 1,000 people are working inside the Zojila tunnel at -8 degrees celsius.
In addition, Gadkari also informed the Parliament that rapid strides in technology and green fuel will reduce the cost of electric vehicles (EVs), bringing them at par with petrol-run vehicles in the next two years. He emphasized the need to shift to cost-effective indigenous fuel and hoped that it will become a reality soon, bringing down the pollution levels and improving the overall situation in Delhi.
He even urged the MPs to adopt hydrogen technologies for transport and take initiative in their respective districts for converting sewage water to produce green hydrogen, which will soon be the cheapest fuel alternative.
He notified that road projects worth ₹62,000 crores have been undertaken in the national capital to ease traffic congestion and tackle the problem of pollution.
Mr. Gadkari foresees and assures that Indian road infrastructure will be like America before 2024 matching the view of our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for a prosperous, well-established, developed India.
Hopeful Developmental Future
On that positive, progressive thought let’s hope for a greener and more developed infrastructure and roads as promised for a zooming future.