All ports in Andhra Pradesh will be connected with four-lane highways at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said here on Friday. Speaking at the Global Investors Summit (GIS), Gadkari declared that these port connectivity enhancing roads will be built irrespective of a port being a minor, major port, private or state port.
The passing of three industrial corridors, Visakhapatnam – Chennai, Chennai – Bengaluru and Hyderabad – Bengaluru, through the state has been crucial for this decision. Noting that road infrastructure in AP is very important, he said, ”I always tell people about the famous statement of American President John Kennedy that American roads are not good because America rich but America is rich because Americans roads are good.” Recalling his days as a shipping minister, Gadkari observed that transporting goods between Chhattisgarh and Visakhapatnam used to be a difficult task, and decided to construct Raipur – Visakhapatnam expressway corridor, which will slash travel time to five-and-half hours after. Moreover, Gadkari said a 430 km project connecting Nagpur and Vijayawada will also be commenced. According to the Road Transport and Highway Minister, the cost of logistics at 16 percent is a big problem in India, which he vowed to bring down. He noted that it was 10 percent in China and 12 percent each in the United States of America and the European Union (EU).
Gadkari assured that the cost of logistics will be reduced in five years’ time. Likewise, he said the Road Transport and Highways Ministry is in the process of making electric highways and termed hydrogen as the ‘fuel of future.’ He said the Ministry is checking the feasibility of laying optic-fibre cables on the road side, piloting between Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Further, he said that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is concentrating on the development of greenfield expressways, which are key for industrial development and added that no one will invest without these.
Five greenfield expressways are being developed at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore, he added.