Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Gadkari calls for better Centre-state cooperation for infrastructure development

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New Delhi: Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday called for cooperation between Central and State Governments for the infrastructure development of the country. He said that infrastructure development will play an important role in fulfilling the vision of India in becoming a $5 trillion economy.

While inaugurating a conference on “PM-Gati Shakti” for the South Zone, organised by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), he said cooperation and communication need to be enhanced between States and the Centre. He welcomed suggestions from the states for making the programme a success.

Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Bommai, in his address, pointed out that the time has come to cooperate and coordinate in major mega projects of Central Government and the States. He urged the Centre to fasten clearances and relax rules in the finance sector to maximize investments.

Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan said that the multi-modal connectivity will facilitate connectivity for the movement of people and goods. Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy spoke about the importance of the elevated corridor project to minimize traffic congestion, helipad services and airport facilities for people visiting Puducherry.

In his remarks, Minister of State (RTH and Civil Aviation) General (Retd) Dr VK Singh said the aim of “PM-Gati Shakti” is to give a boost to multi-modal connectivity in India.

Andhra Pradesh Industries, Commerce and IT Minister M Goutham Reddy said his state, with the second-largest coastal corridor in the country, can contribute in realizing India’s vision of becoming big economy. Talking about PM-Gati Shakti, he said the logistics cost in India is still 14 percent of GDP against the global average 8 percent and the Prime Minister is committed to bringing this cost down. He said the programme will help achieve this goal.

The Public Works Department and Tourism Minister of Kerala PA Mohammed Riyas said a robust and resilient infrastructure is fundamental to the economic growth of a country and the 'PM-Gati Shakti' will change its logistics landscape. He said Kerala offers a conducive landscape for the development of multi-modal connectivity.

Telangana Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce and IT KT Rama Rao said his State has got sufficient support from the Centre in terms of National Highways but sought more help from the Centre in improving the Railway infrastructure.

MORTH’s Secretary Giridhar Aramane in his welcome address, stressed upon creating institutional framework at the State level. He said the objective of the conference is sensitisation and capacity building from officers of all Central Ministries and State Governments, besides the development of a roadmap for a Master Plan for States and UTs.

State/UTs, which participated in the event, were Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. The day-long event witnessed panel discussions on various aspects of the programme, involving Central & State officials and stakeholders. Participating states/UTs gave their presentation during the Conference regarding the achievements so far, action plan for implementation and improvement of logistics and infrastructure development in the respective states / UTs.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)’s Member RK Pandey spoke during the panel discussion on “Implementation Roadmap for PM-Gati Shakti,” chaired by NHAI’s Chairperson Alka Upadhyaya, in the presence of senior officials from States/UTs. Alka listed out some significant points given by the senior officials of participating states.

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