The Narendra Modi-led government will initiate measures to turn-around the highways sector in 2 years time by garnering funds to the tune of Rs one lakh crore in a year, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said here today.
"I will prepare a blue print for road sector reforms in a month. I will arrange funds to the tune of Rs one lakh crore in a year... The results will be out in two years," Gadkari said at a conclave on Budget Aaj Tak today.
His statement comes a day after the new government in a White Paper blamed the previous regime's policies such as awarding of projects without proper land acquisition for the poor performance of road sector wherein about 60 per cent of NHAI's scheme are embroiled in disputes.
Gadkari said "good days" were on the anvil for the people of India as the new government has understood the problems of the nation including impediments faced by the highways sector and was working hard to solve it.
He said the contractors working in the highways sector will have their payments within a month.
On the issue of E-rickshaws, he dismissed apprehensions that they could pose a threat to road safety.
He said as many as 1.31 lakh people lost their lives in road accidents in last year whereas the number of deaths due to such battery operated vehicles in Delhi was 25.
He said permission for E-rickshaw was granted as an option for the man-operated rickshaw concept and that the recently introduced tricycle was operated through battery.
On Tuesday, Gadkari had dismissed reports that his family has links with a firm manufacturing e-rickshaws.
He had asserted that he has no commercial interest in the sector manufacturing them in the wake of media reports claiming that PGT, a Nagpur-based company having interests in manufacturing of such battery-operated tricycles, has links with his family.
Asked about the upcoming budget, Gadkari said the economic policies of the new government will be reflected in it.