Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday announced setting up of 25 driving training centres in Jharkhand in a bid to curb unemployment in the tribal state.
Speaking at the state’s 17th Foundation Day, Gadkari said that the proposed driving centres will produce at least five lakh drivers in a year as against country’s requirement of around 22 lakh drivers.
The initiative, he said, will make youths from the backward areas of the state employable.
“This Statehood Day, I give 25 driving centres to Jharkhand. It will help the state curb unemployment by providing jobs to at least five lakh youths from backward areas in a year,” Gadkari said.
After the BJP government came to power in 2014, rush for enrollment in employment exchanges increased, but number of jobs did not increase proportionately. More than 8.22 lakh job seekers are enrolled with 40 government employment exchanges across the state. However, merely 12,211 candidates have been shortlisted for jobs in 78 Rozgar Melas (recruitment camps) so far.
Elaborating the initiatives his ministry has taken for the state, Gadkari said that Jharkhand had only 2661 kilometer of national highway before the BJP came to power at the centre, and now, it has 5390 kilometer of national highway. Gadkari, in January, had approved upgrading of 15 state highways into national highways.
At a time when the union minister claimed credit for doubling the national highway connectivity in Jharkhand, several highways here, are in dire need of repair. The NH 33, one of the most important highways in the state, connecting Ranchi to Jamshedpur has been in a dilapidated state for months.
Gadkari further said his ministry is focusing on developing waterways in the country and Jharkhand will be an important part of that network. The Sahebganj port will enable easy and cheap transportation and boost industrialisation in the state, he added.
“I will be back in Jharkhand after 15 days for inauguration of works at the Sahebganj port and waterways. Waterway is the way ahead as it enables affordable transportation,” he said.
The upcoming port at Sahebganj will become a new gateway of India connecting Jharkhand to Bangkok, Bangladesh and Mayanmar, he said, adding this will help industries in the state.
“I would request the chief minister to think of setting up an industrial centre at Sahebganj since transportation from there would be easy after the port becomes active,” he said.
Sahebganj has 83 km of Ganges flowing all across the eastern boundary of the district. Work has already started for construction of a multimodal port at Sakrigali-Samda Nala region of the district. The multimodal port will include one terminal with berthing facility for vessels of 1500-2000 DWT (dead weight tonnage) capacity and to provide all ancillary facilities along with rail connectivity and station and a four lane roadway, official sources said.
“With this project, Sahebganj will emerge as an industrial hub of not only Jharkhand but entire eastern India,” said Godda MP Nishikant Dubey.
Stressing the importance of utilising waterways and preserving the rivers, Gadkari said that after Ganges, the centre will turn its attention to Subarnarekha river of Jharkhand. The river flows from Ranchi to Jamshedpur.