Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday stressed on the need to reduce the use of diesel in the public transport system and said the fare in electric buses can be 30 per cent less than the diesel ones. The Union road transport and highways minister was speaking at a function organised in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore to lay the foundation stone for five road projects, worth Rs 2,300 crore.
The state road transport corporation will never profit, as their buses are running on costly diesel, he said. “I can say with full responsibility that the cost of ticket in air-conditioned electric buses will become cheaper easily by 30 per cent compared to the diesel ones,” Gadkari said.
The Central government is moving ahead with its plan of running 50,000 electric buses in the country, he said. “There is a need to change the country’s transport system with a long-term perspective. Instead of petrol and diesel, we should focus on cheaper options like electricity, green hydrogen, ethanol and Bio-CNG,” the minister said.
The minister also said that there is a need to reduce the cost of work with the use of technology in basic infrastructure.
“But the entire government machinery is not used to it. Politicians should think 50 years ahead, as government officials only do patch work (to solve any problem in temporarily). They only think of today’s work as they know that in the days to come, they will be transferred,” Gadkari said. The minister announced the sanction of 20 flyovers in Indore, Bhopal, Sagar, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ratlam, Khandwa, Dhar, Chhatarpur and Vidisha.
Gadkari also informed that his department has sanctioned road projects worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore so far and by 2024 end, this figure will reach to 4 lakh crore. According to officials, the five major road projects will improve the state’s connectivity with neighbouring Maharashtra and south India.
As per project details, a four-lane road will be constructed between Tejaji Nagar in Indore to Balwara (Indore-Burhanpur section), a four-lane road on Indore-Raghogarh (Indore-Harda section) and a six-lane flyover at Indore’s Rau Circle, they said.
Gadkari also laid the foundation for the reconstruction of a service road at Rau Circle and for strengthening the existing road between Tejaji Nagar and Balwara in Indore, they said. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state Public Works Department Minister Gopal Bhargava were also present at the function.