Union minister for Road Transport and Highways in India, Nitin Gadkari on Friday announced that the Centre will release funds to the tune of Rs 2 lakh crores in the next phase for developments in Northeast, post 2024, in a slew of major decisions taken during a meeting in Guwahati.
Addressing the media at Hotel Radisson Blu at the end of an important review meet, Union minister Gadkari sought the support of all Chief Ministers of Northeastern states to take the progress in the region to new heights.
At first, he addressed the issue of mixing ethanol in petrol, calling for an increase in its production. He said, “There has to be an emphasis on the production of ethanol. The amount of ethanol mixed in petrol will be increased. We will extract ethanol from bamboo and paddy seeds.”
Moving on, Gadkari announced plans to build an airport-style bus port with state-of-the-art facilities with the aim to facilitate communication through the Northeast. “In the next phase, the Centre will release Rs 2 lakh crore funds for development in the Northeast after 2024,” he said.
He further said, “Ahead of 2024, developmental works worth Rs 3 lakh crores in the Northeast will be completed.”
Tackling questions on the use of FAStags at toll booths, the Union minister laid down plans for replacing it with a technology to read number plates and deduct toll amounts directly from the linked bank accounts. “Toll tax will be collected at toll gates through a new digital system soon,” he said.
Asked about toll taxes, Gadkari said, “If you want good facilities, you have to pay taxes. Other development works will be taken up with the help of toll tax.”
Speaking further, Nitin Gadkari said, “Rs 24,000 crore worth projects are underway in Assam. Throughout the Northeast, projects worth several thousand crores have been taken up. We aim to finish all these projects ahead of 2024. The Centre is focusing on construction of National Highways.”
“At the end of all the projects the Northeast region will have a new look. Construction of several logistics parks are underway. There will be a total of 35 ropeways in Northeast, of which five will be in Assam,” added Gadkari.
With a stern determination to complete what he has promised, Gadkari further said, “At least 50 viewpoints will come up for tourists throughout Northeast. Road projects worth Rs 2,60,000 crores are being undertaken in Northeast. Parking Plazas will be constructed to tackle the issue of parking space.”
It may be noted that the Union minister held meetings with several top ranking government officials at Hotel Radisson Blu during which he reviewed the progress of several projects including the progress of work regarding National Highways.
According to reports, he reprimanded several officials for their inabilities in taking the works forward as he reviewed the progress made.
Gadkari further warned officials that they will face difficulties at the time of promotion if they did not mete out their duties in the desired way.