Mangaluru: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Nitin Gadkari attended the foundation laying ceremony for widening of 141 KM of NH-75 with a total investment of Rs 2358 crores at Jawaharlal Nehru Centenary Hall, NMPT, Panambur here, on March 8.
He also dedicated the projects of Road-Over-Bridge at Baikampady on NH-66 and near Bantwal Cross on NH-75 and widening and construction of rigid pavement of Shiradi Ghat Section of NH-75 to the nation. Gadkari inaugurated the programme by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries and also laid foundation stones by electronically toggling the switch to unveil a screen.
Speaking on this occasion, Gadkari said, “MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had approached me with a proposal of three new National Highways to connect Mangaluru. I therefore also take this opportunity to declare National Highways along Karkala-Moodabidri-BC Road, BC Road-Kaikamba-Kateel-Mulki and a four lane National Highway along Melkar-Thokkotu-Mudipu routes. The works along these routes will soon begin.”
Speaking about the road works at the Shiradi Ghat, Gadkari said, “The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for stretch of 23.6 KM along the Shiradi Ghat that would help in connecting Mangaluru Port to Chennai Port is awaited. If the DPR is ready by June-July, the work would commence by November and would take another 2 years to complete.”
He said that to develop a nation, development of agriculture and industries is very much important. Development of infrastructure is necessary for the development of both, agriculture and industry. This would prove to be a vital boost in employment rate and ultimately contribute in the GDP of the nation. “Today the times are such that even the poor people have cars, but the nation doesn’t have National Highways to hold them. Only about 40% of the traffic is on the National Highways, it is therefore that we have decided to increase the reach of National Highways from 96,000 KM to 2 lakh KM. The ultimate aim is to bring 80% of the entire traffic on the National Highways,” he added.
He stressed on building concrete roads, which would at least have a life of 5 years and he also laid emphasis on saving lives and building better infrastructure in order to avoid accidents along the National Highways. “India is a rich country with poor population and our main hurdle is not money but lack of innovation and commitment. We need to explore new routes to reduce the burden of logistic expenses. If we choose to use inland waterways we can save much more in terms of logistics and thus make goods cheaper. Further, we could also explore possibilities of seaplanes,” Gadkari said.
“We want to allocate fishing trawlers to fishermen at subsidized rates so that they can venture into deep seas and increase the fish output of the nation.” He said. Gadkari also said that politics and development should not be mixed and said that Karnataka had a huge potential for development.
PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa said, “The keen competition seen for the development of the state between two political group is welcoming and healthy for democracy.” He said that when Oscar Fernandes was a minister, he had visited the Shiradi Ghat personally and had taken up scientific approach to lay concrete road along the entire Shiradi Ghat stretch which connected Mangaluru to Bengaluru. “Wealth will not give us infrastructure, but instead infrastructure will give us wealth and therefore it is really very important for development of infrastructure of the nation,” he added.
Mahadevappa said that when Gadkari took up as the Union Minister of Roads Transport, he had always welcomed any proposal sent to him which would promote good infrastructure. “He never even asked a single question, but approved any proposal after looking at the developmental aspect of it,” he added.
Union Law Minister, D V Sadananda Gowda said, “This is the first time the highest ever budgetary allocation of Rs 55 crores has been allotted for the development of National Highways and Rs 1.02 crores has been allocated towards shipping and inland waterway projects. Connectivity through inland waterways is very important as roads are being congested. Mangaluru is the only major harbor of Karnataka and it is very important to connect it to other port cities.”
MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “Minister Gadkari is the person at the centre who delivers on any promise he makes. We need to connect Kasargod, Bengaluru and Sholapur to Mangaluru and I thank him for delivering the new National Highways to the people of Mangaluru.” He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving the tag of Smart City to Mangaluru.
MLA Mohiudden Bava, Deputy Mayor Sumithra and others were also present.