Environment, development must go hand-in-hand, says Nitin Gadkari

Mumbai: Without cutting trees, if development cannot take place, then trees should be cut, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said, adding, but, at the same time, there should be a balanced approach while doing so. He was in Mumbai to talk about the achievements of the Modi government on the completion of 100 days of the Modi 2.0 government.

Gadkari is often heard criticising activists for blocking development in the country. But on Monday, he was a lot more cautious. He said, “I believe environment and development should go hand-in-hand. If trees have to be transplanted and it has to take place...”

He added Maharashtra is today much more greener due to the various initiatives in the state under the leadership of CM Fadnavis. He explained when there is a need to improve connectivity, at times trees are chopped for better future.

“With such development, poor will be alleviated, and there will be job creation...” He continued, “Without cutting of trees if development cannot take place, then trees have to be cut.”

Recalling a delay in Bandra-Worli Sealink, the road minister said, “Many people opposed it and the cost of the project escalated from Rs420 to Rs1,800 crore. Do not create losses to state by holding such protests.”

He stated he still regrets for this cost escalation. Among other topics, the transport minister also commented on the Motor Act 2019. He said the committee that drafted the new Act had many state transport ministers. “A member of the committee of proposed Motor Act was Maharashtra road transport minister...”

Gadkari added he will talk to the state transport minister, Diwakar Raote, and try to address his grievance around the Act, if he has any. The Union minister added the state was doing its best to implement the Act.

Amid concerns over the hefty fines for traffic violations under the amended Motor Vehicles Act, Gadkari said even he has been fined for speeding on the Bandra-Worli sealink in Mumbai.

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