Govt is undertaking projects worth over Rs 2 lakh crore in NE, J&K to create infrastructure : Gadkari

NEW DELHI: The Government is undertaking projects worth over Rs 2 lakh crore in the North East and J&K as part of efforts to create vibrant infrastructure across the country which has seen “unmatched work” in this space in the last four years, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

This, he said, is in addition to several big-ticket projects which are already underway such as the Rs 5 lakh crore Bharatmala for highways and Rs 14 lakh crore Sagarmala for ports.

“When I took over as a Minister at the Centre, I had seen a dream of India having a vibrant infrastructure. Slowly and gradually I see this dream taking shape,” Gadkari said in an interview.

“Foundation has been laid with unmatched work done in the space in the last four years. We have done so much that it surpasses the work done during the Congress regime in over 50 years,” he claimed.

He said the connectivity projects for Chardham and Mansarovar Yatra will be a priority this year.

“We are making all-weather road for Chardham which is very important for the country. The project is worth Rs 12,000 crore. As for Manasarovar, 70 per cent work has happened. Only much difficult 30 per cent part has been left as work is done there in difficult circumstances at – 3 degree temperature,” he  added.

Gadkari holds portfolios such as road transport, shipping, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation.

He said plans are afoot to lay a network of green alignments, which includes Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, and the work on the Rs 44,000 crore first phase — Vadodara-Mumbai stretch — will begin shortly.

The travel distance between the two metros will be shorter by 125 km as new alignment is from Ring Road of Delhi to Jaipur to Alwar from where it will reach Sawai Madhopur to Mumbai via Vadodara.

The government plans to build Chambal expressway that would be linked to the Delhi-Mumbai expressway benefiting Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, he said.

Besides, work is likely to begin soon on about Rs 7,000 crore Dwarka Expressway project and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay its foundation within a fortnight, he said.

On J&K and the North East, Gadkari said: “We have undertaken work worth Rs 60,000 crore in Jammu & Kashmir alone. We are building tunnels, roads there. We are doing work worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the North East. We are working in backward areas for people who used to think that nobody pays attention to their problems.”

On the Ganga project, he said about 80 per cent of the work is likely to be completed by next March.

“I want to complete the projects on Ganga that include four multimodal hubs and 60 river ports. We have decided to start dredging work from Varanasi to Allahabad This is a major work. I want to make Ganga nirmal’ and ‘aviral’.”

He said out of 210 projects for Ganga, 47 have been completed while tenders for 35-40 projects are out.

Another area of focus is electric vehicles and alternative fuels, Gadkari said.

“My focus is to bring public transport on electricity. For metrino project from Dhaulakuan to Manesar, financial bids have already come. This work is very important for us. When this will begin a new revolution will start. I think we will be in a position to issue workorder in three months,” he added. (AGENCIES)