Union minister of road transport and highways, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), Nitin Gadkari, came out with two major announcements last month; a vehicle scrapping policy and record highway construction. In an interview with Megha Manchanda and Jyoti Mukul, the ever-optimistic minister shares his plans for furthering these initiatives even as he stresses on the need for green fuel and highways. Edited Excerpts:
Q. How was the record road construction achieved, considering there was a complete lockdown for two months?
Our last year’s (FY20) average was 28 km per day and when I took charge in 2014, about 12 km/day were being constructed. At that time, 403 projects worth Rs 3.85 trillion were stalled, of which we terminated 40 projects and in the remaining contracts, nearly 99 per cent were resolved through several rounds of deliberations. We faced several challenges due to Covid last year. The labour went back. Yet, we constructed 37 km per day. The US and China have built roads at a faster pace than this in the past. However, the current international statistics point out that this is a world record.
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First Published: Tue, April 06 2021. 15:20 IST