Union minister for road transport Nitin Gadkari on Friday announced that Rs 2 lakh crore would be allotted for the development of highways in Uttar Pradesh by 2019. “I promise to give Uttar Pradesh Rs 2 lakh crore for road construction by 2019. In fact, some of these projects are already underway or the preliminary ground works have already been completed for speedier take-off. All I ask (UP chief minister) Yogiji is to just acquire land for us and we would make the payment for it,” he said, adding that he would guarantee that roads and expressways made by NHAI would last last at least three generations. Addressing a two-day national conference on ‘Challenges on Road Sector and New Technologies’ in Lucknow on Friday, Gadkari said roads are very important to usher in development and can offer employment to lakhs. He told chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who was also present at the event, that if he could give good roads, power, water and a good transport system along with sound a communication system, industry would come to the state in droves. “Development would come on its own,” he said, adding that then no one in the state would need to migrate to other parts looking for employment. “Uttar Pradesh would become prosperous,” he said.
Stating that lack of vision coupled with corrupt governance is the reason for the backwardness of the state, Gadkari assured the chief minister that the roads being built by NHAI would be of the latest technology and would last for at least three generations.
Exhorting technologists to innovate with new building methods, Gadkari said while it is important to pay attention on the quality of construction, it is also important to bring down the cost of construction. “At present, reducing the cost of construction is not on the agenda while planning DPRs. We must make use of new research and innovative technology and add value to waste in order to bring down the cost of construction. We must create value out of waste. Just as conversion of knowledge is wealth, conversion of waste is also wealth,” he said. Gadkari said that more attention must be paid on improving public transport and new innovative ways to travel.