A man stands in front of the under repair Mahatma Gandhi Setu bridge at the Ganges river in Patna, Bihar (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Gadkari Urges Private Companies To Invest In Expressways, Waterways

India’s Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday asked private players to invest liberally in expressways, waterways and irrigation projects as well as towards the “Clean Ganga Mission”.

“Private players should consider investing in fast-growing expressways, highways, waterways, irrigation and projects under the Clean Ganga Mission,” Gadkari said while addressing the 91st annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry via video conferencing.

“The government has brought down the cost of land acquisition drastically to Rs 80 lakh per km from Rs 7.5 crore per km earlier for the development of expressways,” Gadkari said, adding that private players should take advantage of the reduced land acquisition and labour cost.

He said that land can even be made available to Indian Railways for bullet train routes.

“Access-controlled expressway of Delhi would reduce automotive pollution by 60 percent in the city as the traffic will pass through the external ring roads without entering Delhi. The Bengaluru-Chennai expressway would be operational from January next year and the 12-lane Bombay-Delhi expressway, currently under construction, would reduce the distance between the two metros by 120 km,” the minister said.

He suggested the use of methanol and LNG as fuel to reduce the cost of logistics and added that the government intends to achieve the target of building roads at 40 km a day by the end of this fiscal year.

Gadkari added that the government had decided to use 111 rivers for waterways and sought the industry’s cooperation in transport of goods through this channel to reduce transportation cost.