Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that the usage of steel and cement should be reduced in road construction without compromising on quality through innovation and research.
Addressing the 16th Annual Conference on 'Road Development in India,' the Minister said CNG, LNG and ethanol should be used for the road equipment machinery. The Minister emphasized import substitution, cost-effective, pollution-free and indigenous methods and development of alternative fuel.
Gadkari said India, with about 63 lakh km of the road network, is the second-largest road network in the world. He said road infrastructure plays a critical role in the economy's growth as 70 per cent of the goods and nearly 90 per cent of passenger traffic use roads to commute.
The Minister said the Prime Minister had set a vision for India to become a five trillion dollar economy in the next five years. He said Government is investing 1.4 trillion dollars, i.e. Rs 111 lakh crores, in infrastructure development through the national infrastructure pipeline. Further, this year, the Government has increased year on year infrastructure capex by 34 per cent to Rs 5.54 lakh crores.
"Increased investment in infrastructure would help create employment during covid pandemic. My aim was to construct a 60,000 km world class national highway at the rate of 40 km per day," he said.