- New Delhi: The Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has lauded the fact that the Union Budget 2017-18 has recognized the need for multi-modal transport planning in the country and has accorded it very high priority. Shri Gadkari said that in order to reduce traffic congestion, bring down pollution and make the overall movement of passengers and goods more efficient and cost effective, the country needs to adopt a holistic and integrated transport planning for the sector as a whole, including roads, railways, waterways and airways.
- The Minister pointed out that in most cities, bus stations, airports, railway stations are situated far apart from each other. If all stations are properly integrated with each other, a lot traffic congestion and pollution can be reduced. Shri Gadkari said that his Ministry is examining the feasibility of setting up multi modal hubs where all modes of transport – air, road, rail and waterways wherever possible – are within close proximity to each other. Besides this, latest technology for electricity based Mass Rapid Transport like the metrino and hyperloop are being studied and tested.
- Talking about the road map for the future Shri Gadkari said that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways hopes to award 15000 km of highways work by the end of March 2017. Per day construction of highways will go up to 30 km by end of March 2017 and the Ministry will strive to achieve its target of building 40 km road per day very soon. Shri Gadkari welcomed the 15 percent rise in budget allocation for the Road Transport & Highways Ministry. He said this will allow the Ministry to take up a lot of new work
- Talking about the Shipping sector Shri Gadkari said that Sagarmala is all set to be a game changer with its stress on port led development. The programme will create one crore jobs, including 40 lakh direct and 60 lakh indirect ones. Ports are being mechanized and modernized. The draught at ports are being deepened so that bigger ships can come in. In addition to the above, waterways are being developed in a big way. This includes 111 rivers that are to be developed as National Waterways, and coastal shipping along the country’s 7500 km of coastline. Ro-Ro services are being launched to cut down travel time and distance and cruise services are being brought in to carry both goods and passengers. The agenda of the Ministry is to harness the full potential of the maritime sector through its Sagarmala programme.
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