Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said his ministry can address the water woes faced in parts of the country.
"You all know that the Centre has come up with the 'Amrit Sarovar' scheme. The road, transport and highway ministry can do great work in addressing the water woes," he said during the 'Manthan' programme under the 'Bharatmala' series here.
The 'Mission Amrit Sarovar' was launched on National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24, 2022 as a part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav with an objective to conserve water for future.
The Mission, launched by the Ministry of Rural Development, is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country.
Ministers and officials from the Centre and States are participating in the two-day event, themed on 'Ideas to Action-Towards a smart, sustainable road infra, mobility and logistics ecosystem'.
Noting that he comes from Vidarbha region where thousands of farmers had committed suicide over the years, Gadkari said one of the reasons for the agrarian crisis was water scarcity.
"There is a water crisis in many places. There is no dearth of water but water management (is an issue). We can use our highways for building lakes," the Minister said.
He said building of highways require soil, which can be obtained in a manner that new water bodies can be formed.
This will not only fulfill the road construction requirement but also provide new lakes in rural areas, which will eventually increase the groundwater table, Gadkari said.
He cited an example where a university got 36 lakes and nearby villages 22 wells due to a project executed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Gadkari said such innovative measures will reduce project costs and help many others.
He appealed to the Ministers and officials of the Centre and States to work on minimising project costs.