Intending to bring down the fuel and thereby the logistics cost, the speed limit for vehicles on expressways is soon to be increased, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday adding that rules and regulations in this regard would be changed.
Gadkari who inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for several road development projects worth Rs 21,559 crore in Andhra Pradesh, while addressing the public noted that the Indian exports are struggling due to the high logistics cost.
“Our logistics cost is 16-18 percent whereas it is 8-10 percent in China and 12 percent in Europe and the USA. That’s one of the problems with our exports since the costs are high. We are going to accept this challenge and reduce the logistics cost to 8-10 percent,” Gadkari said.
He said “time has come” to change the rules and regulations related to speed limits on expressways as access-controlled expressways were crucial to reduce fuel costs.
Stating that his ministry is equipped with enough funds, the minister announced the Centre’s decision to build 22 greenfield expressways across the country as road infrastructure was vital, including six in Andhra Pradesh.
“Ports, waterways are very important. Road construction is equally important. And, as far as development is concerned, we don’t want to discriminate anybody, because the country belongs to everybody,” he observed.
Gadkari noted that a staggering Rs 3 lakh crore would be spent on road construction in AP by 2024. “Role of AP is very important in making India economically strong. We will extend 100 percent support for road development in the state,” the Union Minister said adding that a “strong political will” was crucial to build good infrastructure projects.
The almost 465-km expressway between Raipur and Visakhapatnam, traversing through Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and AP, would be built for Rs 16,102 crore, Gadkari informed while referring to the major greenfield expressway projects.
To be completed by end of 2024, the said project is likely to increase business for the state, particularly the container traffic, since railways were already jammed.
Greenfield expressways were also underway between Nagpur and Vijayawada (405-km, costing Rs 15,000 crore), Chittoor and Trichur (116-km, Rs 5,000 crore), Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam (Rs 6,000 crore), and Bengaluru and Chennai through AP (Rs 17,000 crore).
This road infrastructure development is to boost trade and also help with the development of backward regions.
Gadkari later inaugurated the 2-km-long second fly-over at Benz Circle Junction in Vijayawada city, built for Rs 96 crore. Later, he went to the Chief Minister’s camp office and discussed various road development proposals.
A release from the CMO said Jagan sought Gadkari’s help to build the six-lane beach corridor road from Visakhapatnam to Bhogapuram, where a new international airport is proposed to be constructed.
The Union Minister also agreed to fund the construction of 30 road-over-bridges across the state, pending for a long due to a dearth of funds.