According to Minister for Roads, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, the ministry is planning to build 12,000 km of highways this financial year, aiming to increase the pace of work to 40 km daily.
He said, “We have reached the 32 km/ day pace as per norms established under the UPA. We are not even going by international standards.” The BJP’s focus over the next five years would be to strengthen the country’s infrastructure and create jobs through small industries, he added. Min Gadkari has also taken over the ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The BJP manifesto had vowed to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector, out of which a large amount is expected to go towards building national highways and bullet train corridors. Additionally, construction of 60,000 km of highways in the next five years was also included.
Min Gadkari added that the Delhi – Mumbai expressway would boost the economic development in backward areas of Rajasthan, Haryana and Ghaziabad through which the highway passes.
He has suggested to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to allow oil marketing companies to establish fuel stations along the 1,300 km highway. “Around 2,000 petrol pumps can be set up along the Delhi – Mumbai expressway. The land belongs to NHAI, which can earn 40 - 50 crore through this,” he said.