Some officials who fail to complete the work as per stipulated deadlines is the problem and not the availability of funds for various projects, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Pune on Sunday. Gadkari also said that since some officials are not used to perform their duty in a timely manner, they have to be "chased with a stick". "I never demand funds from Finance ministry as my ministry has enough funds. I want to complete projects worth Rs 25 lakh crore in five years.
I have already given the project work of Rs 6.5 lakh crore. So money is not the constraint (with the ministry), but only problem is the officials who do not complete the work in time," the minister said. Gadkari laid the foundation stone for a project envisaging construction of a multi-layer flyover and five bypasses in Pune district. "Since some officials are not used to perform their duty on time, they have to be chased with a stick in hand," the minister said. He said that looking at the growth in the automobile industry and a number of vehicles increasing day by day, "it would be difficult to increase the road size due to the land constraint". "We have to think about alternate means of transportation, and waterways are the viable option to address the issue. In future, waterways will be our first priority... second priority will be given to rail roads and the last (priority) will be road transport," the minister said. Gadkari said he was ready to construct dry ports around Pune, Ahmednagar, Kolhapur, Sangli, and have them connected with the rail roads "so that JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port, located near Mumbai)-bound containers can go through railways," provided availability of land. "If the JNPT-bound containers are routed through rail road, the additional burden on the (Mumbai-Pune) expressway will be minimised and it will help to bring down pollution," he said. Looking at the land constraint, there is a need to discourage people from buying vehicles and encourage public transport, he said. The foundation stone-laying ceremony was also attended by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and Maharashtra PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil.