Union minister for road transport, highway and shipping, Nitin Gadkari has said that the central government is giving priority to infrastructure development and housing to help boost the economy of the country.
He also proposed several water transport projects, which he says are cheaper and effective modes of transportation.
Gadkari was speaking while inaugurating a property exhibition organised by Builders Association of Navi Mumbai, in Vashi on Friday
"Work of Rs 4 lakh crore worth of road projects will start this year. We are restarting works that had got stuck due to government rules, acquisition and other issues. We need better planned roads as there are 5 lakh road accidents taking place every year," he said.
"We have announced a four-lane Mumbai-Goa highway and the work on bridges has started. We have also ensured clearances from the environment and forest ministry. Of course, there are hurdles as an NGO has gone to the court over it. There are also issues of cement cartel, which I have managed to control and reduce the price of cement for our projects," he added.
Gadkari said, "We are also looking for cheaper and pollution free modes of water transport which is popular in other countries. We are planning a passenger terminal at Bombay Port Trust."
"Four modes of transport will be possible as I have studied during my foreing trips. These include- a bus that can run on water and road, seaplane that can land on 100 metre strips of land or water, hovercraft and light weight catamaran," the minister said.
Referring to the planned SEZ at JNPT which was recently inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi, Gadkari said, "I have suggested that we develop ship breaking industry there which will provide jobs to a lot of locals on the Konkan belt. A township will also be developed there."
Stressing the need for alternative fuel, Gadkari said, "We will encourage the production of ethanol which is cheaper than diesel and can be manufactured by our farmers."
Assuring quick action, he said, "CIDCO joint MD V Radha had approached me last week on a clearance for the Navi Mumbai airport. I spoke to the concerned minister and his secretary and the permission was granted on the same day."
"We have taken up politics of progress and development and are confident of success," the minister said.