At a time when soaring vegetable prices are worrying the government, minister for road transport and highways Kamal Nath used the Onion crisis to make a point for his ambitious road projects.
"Vegetables are rotting because of lack of infrastructure. How do you move them out from the districts where they are grown to towns and cities where prices are soaring?" Nath asked at the 105th annual session of PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Friday.
The comments from within UPA Cabinet come even as the government is trying to douse the blazing prices of onions with export ban and imports from Pakistan.
Onions are selling at Rs 60 to Rs 70 in Delhi, with tomatoes following at Rs 40 per kilo.
From the time he took over roads and transport, the former commerce minister has been aggressive in setting targets like award of more projects and making 20 kms roads per day. But the planning commission, reportedly wanting the targets brought down to "realistic, achievable Levels", deflated Nath's big plans.
The roads minister is also at loggerheads with environment minister Jairam Ramesh over delay in clearance of road projects passing through forests and protected reserves.
The minister who recently called the plan panel "an arm chair advisor, far from the ground realities", in a veiled attack again targeted the panel here.
"Roads traverse the most backward regions - important for inclusive growth. We are achieving high growth rates even as there is a deficit in infrastructure that can thwart future growth. Deficit in road connectivity stares in our face."