Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

New Delhi : Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Government of India on Saturday promised 80-90% completion of the Clean Ganga project by March 2019 at the closing session of YES Bank and The Economic Times Global Business Summit 2018. Centred around the theme ‘New Economy, New Rules’, the summit saw a phalanx of top global leaders share their views on challenges and opportunities across their respective sectors.

In the closing session, Nitin Gadkari made a flurry of announcements that will promise to provide solutions to critical problems plaguing the country, including the need to clean rivers with a special focus on Ganga, strengthening the public transport system, including use of water transport system to reduce private vehicle density, save costs, reduce pollution and congestion. Expressing his concern about the recurring problem of worsening air quality in Delhi, he revealed his plans to curb this menace with sustainable alternatives such as producing biofuel from crop stubble.

Clean Ganga Project summarisation:

  • 189 projects for Clean Ganga established.
  • A commitment of Rs 3,000 crore for developing Ganga banks. And Sagarmala Project will see total investment of over Rs 16 lakhs.
  • Building four multi-modal hubs on Ganga.
  • The Roadmap to improve public transport and ease pressure on roads and the government’s plans towards utilizing inland waterways. He said, “We have a strength of over 20,000 KM of river waterways. Developing waterways for transportation will open the gateways for commerce to South East Asia through Bangladesh and Myanmar.”
  • The water transport system will have everything from ferries to cruises on offer.
  • Strengthening an alternative public transport system, which will increase connectivity from metropolitan cities to nearby satellite cities using eco-friendly double-decker buses with separate business and economy class. He said, “If comfort level and travel time improves on public transportation system, it will encourage more people to use it.”
  • Continued work on the Mumbai-Vadodara expressway, which would prove to be cost-effective compared to projects such as bullet trains.
  • To curb the recurring problem of worsening air quality in Delhi due to crop stubble burning in neighboring states especially during winter months, Nitin Gadkari revealed his plans of turning ‘Waste to Wealth’ by producing bio-fuels from stubble.

He also reiterated that there will be no change in timeline to implement BS VI norms, which will commence from April 1.

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