Union Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has pitched for improving waterways as a mode of transportation for the development of the nation.
Talking to Jagadeesh Chandra, Head ETV News Network, Gadkari said he is working on large scale
“I dream of making waterways in India, at a level that the National Highways have been made. Till date, the waterways have never been given importance, but, these waterways will lead the nation to progress,” he said.
“In road transport, if a thing costs Rs. 1.50, then it will cost Re. 1 by rail and mere twenty paise through water,” he added.
Gadkari, while revealing details of his ministry’s performance in the past two years, said the government is focused on generating Rs. 25 lakh crore as investment in five years, and provide employment to over four crore people.
“The ministry has kept a target of 25 lakh crore investment in five years tenure of Modi Government, which will generate an employment for 4 crore people directly and indirectly,” he said.
“My ministry is working day and night to fulfil this target and we are confident of achieving the target,” he added.
Gadkari further said he is going to set up 87 Industrial Clusters and his ministry is aiming to contribute at least three percent of GDP.
When asked for a comment on road accidents taking place in the country, Gadkari said around 1.5 lakh people lose their lives in road accidents every year.
“I want to reduce the road accidents and bring down the death due to road accidents to less than fifty thousand and for this my ministry has decided that one per cent of the projects will be spent on promoting the road safety measures,” he added.
Gadkari also said that the he works hard with dedication and welcomes all types of criticism.
“I believe in hard work and don’t think much what people say. I even listen to all sections of people and leaders in society, irrespective of any party and try to sort out the issues,” he added.
Commenting on the current scenario of water in the country, with over 40 percent of country reeling from drought, Gadkari said he wants running water to be conserved.
“I want utilize the stored water for cultivation. If this formula can be properly implemented, then there won’t be death of any farmer in our nation. And agricultural production will increase tremendously,” he added.
Responding on a question on his association with ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Gadkari said the RSS has taught him the path of love and human relation.
“Sangh’s inspiration helps in serving the people and the nation. I believe in clean politics and works rising above any political ideology. I respect everyone, irrespective of any party or caste or creed or religion,” he added.
He further said that it is unhealthy that two opposition party leaders don’t meet or greet each other.
“The nation can grow if the leaders love their people and nation,” he said.