Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that the Centre would invest Rs 2 lakh crore in Jharkhand by 2024 to develop roads and attract investments to the mineral-rich state.
The road transport and highway minister, during the day, laid foundation of nine road and rail over-bridges worth over Rs 3,800 crore.
He is set to launch 31 projects in all, worth Rs 13,296 crore.
Of these, 21 pertain to state capital Ranchi, incurring an expense of Rs 9,453 crore.
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”Road development will bring in industries, the mining sector will eventually grow and employment opportunities will be created for youth,” Gadkari said at a public meeting in Gopal Maidan, shortly after dedicating a 10-km-long double-decker corridor to the nation.
”I am very happy to have inaugurated the first double-decker road of the country (connecting Pardih Kali Mandir, Dimna Chowk and Baliguma on NH33),” Gadkari said, congratulating BJP MP Bidyut Baran Mahato, who had long been pressing for it.
Referring to a quote by former American President John F Kennedy ‘American roads are not good because America is rich but America is rich because American roads are good’, Gadkari said Jharkhand, blessed with abundant mineral-reserves and forest, can now boast of smooth roads and better connectivity.
”The state’s contribution to national development is immense; it supplies coal and iron to the country. If investments are made, employment opportunities will be generated, which, in turn, will also alleviate poverty,” he said.
The Union minister noted that the state, before 2014, ”had just about 200-250 km roads linked to national highway, which rose to 4,000 km after 2014 under the Narendra Modi government”.
Among other projects unveiled during the day is a 44 km four-lane road between Jamshedpur and Mahulia on National Highway-33, constructed at a cost of Rs 465 crore.
”We are carrying out large-scale development work in Jharkhand, where the government will develop roads worth Rs 2 lakh crore by 2024,” he said.
AnNHAI official said that a four-lane access control road will also be constructed on Raipur-Dhanbad Economic Corridor of NH-320, as part of the Bharatmala package.
”After completion of the project, Raipur will be commercially connected to Dhanbad and travel time between Ranchi and Bokaro will reduce drastically, leading to social and industrial development of both the states,” he added.