Lok Sabha approves demands for grants under Road Transport and Highways for 2019-20

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Lok Sabha passed the demands for grants under Road Transport and Highways for 2019-20 by voice vote on Tuesday.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has assured the Parliament that his ministry, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will continue giving a thrust to building world class transport infrastructure in the country.

Highlighting the achievements of his ministry in the last five years, Gadkari said, work worth about Rs 11 lakh crores were awarded by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways during this period. He said over 57000 km of NH were awarded and over 40000 constructed in the last five years, which is an exponential rise over the figures for the previous five years.

Gadkari further said that the budget allocation for his ministry has increased by about Rs 5000 crore. In addition, several innovative investment models are being worked out to attract funds for the sector. This would include a model for attracting investment from the savings of the common man, giving them assured returns.

Gadkari assured that even though the cost for Bharatmala has gone up from Rs 5,35,000 crore to about Rs 8,41000 crore due to increase in cost of land acquisition, there will be no shortage of funds for the projects.

The Minister reiterated the government’s resolve to provide special focus on road safety. He said, the Ministry has identified 786 black spots which are prone to accidents and 300 such spots have been rectified till now. Gadkari further informed the House that Rs 7000 crore has been sanctioned by ADB for adopting safety measures on highways.

In this regard Gadkari called upon all members to lend support to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 in which stringent laws have been proposed for ensuring safety on roads.

Gadkari further said, within four months, electronic toll collection process will be put on fast track and mandatory for easy passage of traffic, avoiding long queues in the toll plazas.

The minister announced that Bharat stage-VI pollution norms will be introduced by April 2020 and electric and bio fuel run vehicles will soon be on roads.