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Amphibious buses to ply in Allahabad before2019 Kumbh: Gadkari

Union road transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said amphibious buses, which can run on both road and water, will ply on the Ganga river in Allahabad before the 2019 Kumbh begins.

lucknow Updated: Feb 08, 2018 16:41 IST
Kenneth John
Kenneth John
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
Amphibious buses,Allahabad,Nitin Gadkari
“Uttar Pradesh will get roads worth Rs 2 lakh crore which will last for 250 to 300 years without potholes.”(Sheeraz Rizvi/HT Photo)

Union road transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said amphibious buses, which can run on both road and water, will ply on the Ganga river in Allahabad before the 2019 Kumbh begins. The waterways will be extended to Allahabad with the help of World Bank. Besides the Haldia-Varanasi waterways, five and seven star cruises will also become functional on the river here before the event, added the minister.

He also said that during his tenure before the 2019 polls, Uttar Pradesh will get roads worth Rs 2 lakh crore which will last for 250 to 300 years without potholes.

The five major development projects dedicated to public by Gadkari include:
  • Broadening of 41.34 kms of road on NH-27 near the Uttar Pradesh- Madhya Pradesh border with a budget of Rs 775 crore.
  • -Converting 53.154 kms of Handia - Aurai road into a six lane on NH-2 with a budget of Rs 1,813 crore
  • Construction of a 15 km long four-lane Puramufti – Kaudihar Allahabad inner ring road with entailing a budget of Rs 830 crore
  • Broadening of 17.77 km road between Allahabad bypass and the city with Rs 314 crore budget and construction of a six-lane bridge over the Ganga in Phaphamau worth Rs 1900 crore.

He was speaking after dedicating five major development projects with a budgetary outlay of Rs 5,632 crore at a ceremony organized at Parade ground near Sangam. He said the River Traffic Control System (RTCS) will be extended to Allahabad before 2019 Kumbh. His ministry will also give UP three 1,000-seater steamers which will help transport devotees and tourists to the mela.

“I have pledged to rid 80% to 90% of the Ganga of pollution by Kumbh 2019. To achieve this, out of a total of 189 projects, 47 have been completed while work on the remaining will commence from March 2018. For sprucing up ghats on the banks of the Ganga a revenue of Rs 10,000 crore is required out of which I have already collected Rs 300 crore. The remaining amount will also be arranged within a month. If one crore Ganga bhakts donate Rs 50 or Rs 100 each through digital transfer to the Namami Ganga Trust, the remaining amount will also be collected,” he added.

According to the Union minister, Allahabad is among the 10 cities that play a major role in polluting the river and therefore he stressed on the need to take steps to check this practice. He also suggested recycling sewer water and using it for other purposes. Giving an example he said, “I can sell anything. In my early days in Nagpur, I sold toilet water for Rs 20 crore. Recently, I signed an MoU with a power generation company in Maharashtra and sold toilet water to it for Rs 78 crore. Similarly in politics also, no one is useless. Even dumped politicians can be put to good use,” he said.

“UP will also get 200 CNG buses running on bio-waste as well as electric buses soon. Allahabad will also get CNG and electric buses before Kumbh. Ethanol bikes and other vehicles running on this form of fuel are gradually becoming a reality in this country. It costs much less than the petrol and diesel. I brought sea plane to India and this December, I will come to Allahabad in a sea plane for Kumbh bhumi pujan,” he added.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 16:41 IST