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Govt relentlessly working to make highways the mainstay of economy: Gen VK Singh, MoS, MoRTH

Jun 25, 2021

NEW DELHI, 25 June 2021: Gen (Dr) VK Singh (Retd), Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Govt of India today said that infrastructure in India is improving with the advent of new technologies and building of better-quality roads. "As we hit India @75, we aim to bring in better technology to build high-quality cost-effective roads," he added.

Addressing the 2nd edition of Roads and Highways Summit with the theme, 'Accelerating the Road Infrastructure: New India @75', organized by FICCI, Gen Singh said, "Our aim is to ensure that the highways become the main stay of our economy. He stressed on increasing haulage capacity and shared the ministry's target of building 100 km roads per day by making use of available methodologies.

Highlighting the importance of pre-casting of the components used in roads, he urged the industry to come forward and look at all aspects in order to revolutionise the sector. Emphasizing further on the quality of roads, Gen Singh said that we need to upgrade our technology and indigenized road building equipment for constructing better roads. He also urged FICCI and other industry members to explore new technologies and bring it to India by partnering with the government. "Our expectation is FICCI should become our partner in ensuring that we get the best of technology from the world which will help us to fast track the pace of road development in the country," added Gen Singh.

Highlighting the importance of reducing waiting time at tolls, he said, "In next 1-1.5 years, we would like the GPS system to come in so that there is only one barrier on the top of toll plazas across the country.

The government will adopt the best available practices and the GPS will read all the details while entry, exit and billing will be done automatically," he added.

Mr BVN Rao, Chairman, FICCI Transport Infrastructure Committee and Business Chairman (Transportation & Urban Infra), GMR Group said that in order to accelerate the pace of construction and support businesses, large number of initiatives have been taken to revive the stalled projects and expedite completion of new projects. These include streamlining of land acquisition and acquisition of major portion of land prior to invitation of bids, securitization of road sector loans, revamping of disputes resolution mechanism to avoid delays amongst others.

Mr Shailesh Pathak, Co-Chairman, FICCI Transport Infrastructure Committee and Head- Special Initiatives, Development Projects, Larsen & Toubro said that the condition of roads in India at 75 are remarkably different from India@ 50. "In last 7 years, we have seen a speed in construction of highways in India. While construction has seen remarkable progress and today when we have large inventory of road assets, management and operations of these road assets are equally important," he added. 

FICCI-CRISIL knowledge paper 'Emerging Trends and Opportunities in Roads and Highways Sector' was released during the webinar.

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