“To accomplish this, the government is focusing on improving both roadways and railways. We are building green highways and industrial corridor with focus on reducing the distance between major cities and hubs,” he added.
Talking about some of the key national highway projects Gadkari said, “After completion of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway, people can travel between Delhi and Mumbai in just 12 hours; Nagpur Mumbai in 5 hours and Nagpur Pune in 6 hours. This will help reduce the logistics cost. We are building tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and these are going to reduce the distance drastically. For example, from Manali to Rohtang pass it us to take a travel time of 3 ½ hours and now with Atal Tunnel, one can cross the tunnel in just 45 minutes and reach in 8 minutes after coming out of the tunnel.”
Discussing saving fuel cost by focusing on alternative fuel, Gadkari said, “Our focus should be on converting waste to wealth. For example, Delhi has three mountains of solid waste. Within the next two years this waste will be used in road construction, flattening the waste fields. We are focusing on developing an outer-outer ring road which passes over 13 railways lines. Roadmap has been prepared to shift wholesale markets and warehouses to designated zones around this zone. This will decongest Delhi- commercial vehicles will bypass entry into Delhi, reducing pollution problem.”
Giving more insights, he said, Delhi NCR suffers from the problem of rice straw (parli) burning causing high level of pollution. “Central Road Research Institute in collaboration with Central Road Research Institute has developed technology to convert rice straw (parli) into bitumen which will be used for road projects. This will not only help in reducing pollution but also save on the import cost of bitumen. With the help of technology rice straw (parli) is also being converted into bio ethanol and considered as alternative fuel. Our focus has also shifted towards hydrogen as an alternative fuel. There are three types of hydrogen namely brown hydrogen from petroleum, black hydrogen from coal and green hydrogen from water. Indian Chemical Research Institute is already engaged in developing technology to build up biomass, which biotechnologically will yield methane and consequent green hydrogen without using power for electrolyzing water.”
“The aim is to reduce the cost of hydrogen as fuel to $1 which in turn will run a vehicle up 450 Kilometres. Green hydrogen is a futuristic fuel and helps run transportation and various other industries without power. It can be used in aviation and railways. The problem of power plants producing fly ash solved. Fly ash is now being utilized in road construction as mix with bitumen and cement. I personally feel that our priority should be ethics, economy, ecology and environment. So, our focus should be from waste to wealth,” he said.
Sumant Sinha, President at ASSOCHAM, said, “Policy interventions on green hydrogen can catapult India into a major green economy. It can create valuable changes that can help us leapfrog to a clean-energy future. Commending the Hon’ble Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari for his vision, focus on innovation and emphasis on timely completion of projects that are becoming key drivers towards making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025 he also said, “Empowering India’s youth in Amrit Kaal will take us on the way to becoming a developed nation in the next 25 years and ASSOCHAM’s vision of Bharat@100 will play an important role.”