Washington (United States): Making a strong pitch to American firms to invest in India’s growing road infrastructure, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said that the Centre’s resolve to double the existing national highways network presents a ‘golden’ opportunity for the former from the point of view of economic viability and return on investment.
Gadkari, who arrived on Sunday on a week- long official visit aimed at attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the infrastructure sector, said studies all over the world have recognized the surge in infrastructure development in India since the NDA took over the government.
“This is an ideal opportunity for the investor, because the studies done all over the world on infrastructure development in India are appreciating our government and our department. This is golden time for investors,” the minister told ANI here.
“We have lots of projects. I am going to present it to the investors. Economic viability is good, traffic density is good, and now, we are going to raise ( the total span of) national highway from 96, 000 kilometers to 2 lakh kilometers,” he added.
Gadkari further came out with startling figures that out of the total 52 lakh kilometers of roads in India, a mere 96, 000 kilometers were national highways, on which 40 percent of the traffic plies.
“We have 52 lakh kilometers of road length, out of which just 96, 000 kilometers is national highway and 40 percent of the traffic is on these roads. So we have taken a decision to double it. Traffic density is good, projects are economically viable and rate of return is good,” he said.
Reports state that the minister would be looking to deepen the scope of Indo-US cooperation in innovative technologies, including improvement of highway development, road engineering, road safety and development of green fuels in the automobile sector and electric vehicles.
Gadkari said that the NDA Government’s initiatives have been receiving a positive response from countries across the world, adding that he expects the same from the United States.
During his week-long visit, Gadkari is scheduled to visit Washington and Los Angeles, with in between stops in New York, St Louis and San Francisco. (ANI)