From ET Realty
JHARKHAND: The government was developing water ways to ease the traffic on road, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said.
The country was registering an increase of 10 to 12 per cent in number of vehicles per annum, the minister said after laying the foundation of 72-km long Mahulia-Baharagora National highway, built at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.
The function was held in the copper township of Moubhandar, about 40 km from Jamshedpur, under Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbhum district.
The Centre had plans to expand the water network as the country was utilising only 3.5 per cent of waterways compared to China’s 47 per cent and South Korea and Japan’s 43 and 44 per cent respectively, he said.
The minister said five water ways would be developed on rivers including Ganga, Bramhaputra, Mahanadi, backwater of Kerala while two multi-model water ports would be established on Ganga in Sahebgunj of Jharkhand and Varanasi (UP).
The port in Sahebgunj would be developed at a cost of Rs 500 crore, he said announcing that the government would pour in Rs 50,000 crore on various road projects including highways and ports by December.
“We will release the fund for the purpose as soon as the state government submits its Detailed Project Report of the proposed projects,” he said.
Regarding the highway projects, Gadkari said the government has earmarked 95 lakh tonnes of cement for the purpose.
On the issue of rise in cement prices, he had convened a meeting of cement producers and finalised the prices, which would cost Rs 120-140 per bag, Gadkari said.
Out of the ten cement plants in the country, seven are producing cement totalling about 60 million tonnes, he said.
Gadkari said the proposed port in the Sahebgunj would help link various parts of the country including Halidia in West Bengal and Gujarat and improve transportation.
“It (port) would enhance our export potential and we have already signed an agreement with Bangladesh in this regard,” he said.
Stating that money and technology would not only be needed to achieve development but vision and will power, Gadkari said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was working to protect economy and environment to achieve the desired result with focus to lleviate poverty and generate employment.
Hailing the Raghubar Das-headed government in Jharkhand, the minister said the state government has given a direction to the state and marching on the path of development.
Jharkhand will emerge as third developed state of the country under the leadership of Das, he said.
The state would attract investment if infrastructure was improved, he predicted adding that investment would generate employment opportunities as well.
Gadkari appealed to Das to procure oil slags from the steel company in Jamshedpur, sand and waste plastic and supply it to his ministry, so that it could be utilized in quality road construction at low cost.
Gadkari, who was accompanied by the Das, said he would be laying the foundation of three road projects in the state worth total Rs 6,000 crore.
“I have sanctioned all the demands made by the state government with regard to national highways and promised to sanction if any other demand remained unfulfilled as I will be staying in state till tomorrow,” Gadkari assured.
The government was striving to generate employment opportunities for the poor tribals by utilising the minerals properly, he said.