Nitin Gadkari Calls For US Investor To Invest In Road, Highway Projects In India
During the virtual inauguration of the 19th Indo-US Economic Summit, Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways called for investors from the US to come and invest in roads and highways projects in India.
The minister said that India has a well-developed framework for Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) in the highway sector and Asian Development Bank has ranked us at the first spot in PPP operational maturity and also designated India as a developed market for PPPs. He also said that the govt is bringing innovative and investor-friendly products like InvIT to allow retail investors to participate in the funding drive so that they can get good annual returns. The minister has also requested the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce to identify areas where our skilled human resources can contribute to the development of the best financial instruments to enable investment in Indian infrastructure.
Nitin Gadkari also threw light on the fast-growing EV sector of the country and asked if US-based companies can collaborate in our R&D towards EV battery technologies and retrofitting industry. Furthermore, he urged the chamber to contribute to the development of low-cost and reliable electrolyzers and hydrogen fuel cells in India.
Giving insight on the ongoing road / highway projects, the minister said that we are constructing 27 Greenfield Expressways of 10,000 Kms across the country with an investment of Rs 5 lakh crores that is about 60 billion dollars. These corridors will result in 14% reduction in travel distance between the key economic centers and this would further ensure reduction in Transportation cost by 2.5%. In addition, there would be saving of around 110 crore liters of fuel and reduction of carbon dioxide emission by 250 crore kg every year.
He also said that the Indian government has launched the ‘Prime Minister National Gati Shakti Master Plan’ to boost the road infrastructure in the country, which will ultimately push the Indian economy. Currently, India has around 1.47 lakh kilometers of National Highway network and the Government is working towards expanding it to 2 lakh kilometers by 2025. Administration is also formulating a new policy called ‘Tree Bank’ for Tree Cutting & Tree Transplantation. As per policy, Authorities such as NHAI, NHIDCL, Airport and Port Authority have to maintain a Tree Bank account having record of planting and felling of trees during project development.