The Road Transport and Highways Ministry will seek the Cabinet's approval for allowing construction of smart cities, townships, logistic parks and industrial clusters along the national highways, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.
Addressing a virtual event, Gadkari said his aim is to construct world-class highway networks and the road transport and highways ministry has chalked out a plan for monetising existing highways projects for infra capital generation.
"And now we have prepared a cabinet note for approval ....for making roadside townships, smart cities, logistic parks, industrial clusters," he said.
"We are making 400 roadside amenities," Gadkari added.
The minister also said that his ministry is planning to construct tunnels worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore.
Gadkari also said that use of steel and cement should be reduced in road construction without compromising on quality through innovation and research.
He said CNG, LNG and ethanol should be used for the road equipment machinery.
The minister emphasised on import substitution, cost effective, pollution free and indigenous methods and development of alternative fuel .
Gadkari said India with about 63 lakh kms of road network is the second largest road network in the world. The government is investing 1.4 trillion dollars i.e. Rs 111 lakh crores in infrastructure development through National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), he added.
The government has also increased year on year infrastructure capex by 34 per cent to Rs. 5.54 lakh crore this year, he said. Increased investment in infrastructure would help create employment during the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
The minister said his aim is to construct a 60,000 km world class national highway at the rate of 40 km per day.