Centre to build solar-powered electric highways, says Gadkari
Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that the government is encouraging toll plazas to be powered by solar energy, adding that the road transport ministry has carried out route optimisation drills across major corridors and designed a newer alignment.
Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the government is working on building electric highways powered by solar energy to facilitate the charging of heavy duty trucks and buses. During an event organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, the minister said that the government wants to develop India's public transport system on electricity, PTI reported.
He added that the government is encouraging solar and wind energy-based charging mechanisms for electric mobility. In simple terms, an electric highway refers to a road which supplies power to vehicles travelling on it.
ALSO READ: Focus on creating infrastructure that is safe, accessible for all: Nitin Gadkari
The minister said that the government is encouraging toll plazas to be powered by solar energy, adding that the road transport ministry has carried out route optimisation drills across major corridors and designed a newer alignment.
The government is constructing 26 greenfield expressways, the minister said, while stating that with the launch of PM Gati Shakti Master Plan, the projects will get faster clearance.
Gadkari also spoke about the future of electric vehicles in India, stating that the country is becoming the largest market for electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers and cars.
Last month, the Centre told Rajya Sabha that a total of 13.92 lakh electric vehicles were plying on Indian roads as of August 3. Ministry of state for heavy industries Krishan Pal Gurjar had informed Rajya Sabha that the highest number of electric vehicles in India is the three-wheeler at 7,93,370, ANI reported. The number of two-wheelers stands at 5,44,643, while the number of four-wheeler and above stands at 54,252 as per August 3 data.
During the event, Gadkari also said that around 3 crore trees would be planted across the national highways. The government is formulating a new policy called Tree Bank for tree cutting and plantation.
According to the policy, the authorities like the National Highways Authority of India and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited will have to maintain a tree bank account of planting trees during project development.