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"Development of Andhra key to making India 5-trn dollar economy: Nitin Gadkari
Visakhapatnam: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, on Friday said the government was working on mission-mode to make India 'Atma Nirbhar' (self reliant).
Speaking at the 'Andhra Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023' on Friday, Gadkari said, "Andhra Pradesh is one of the most important states of our country. Our government's mission is to build an Atma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi." "It is the dream of Modi-ji to make India a 5-trillion dollar economy and the development of Andhra Pradesh is the key to accomplishing this objective. We are working towards this goal with the motto of 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Prayas'," he added.
"To make India a 5-trillion dollar economy, we need more industries. Without industries, we cannot make enough capital investment; without industry and capital investment, we cannot generate employment opportunities; and without generating employment opportunities, we cannot eradicate poverty. Under the leadership of PM Modi, there is full support of the central government in the development of Andhra Pradesh," the Union minister said.
He added, "Andhra Pradesh already has 6 ports with a cargo handling capacity of 240 million metric tonnes, and 4 more under development."
The minister further informed that the Centre has decided to connect all ports -- major, state and private -- with the four-lane National Highway.
"The road infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh is very important. The total road network in the state currently spans 1,34,280 kms. I keep telling people about the famous statement of (former US president John F. Kennedy) that 'American roads are good, not because America is rich, but America is rich because American roads are good'," Gadkari said.
Lauding PM Modi's push towards infrastructure development, the Union minister said, "Before 2014, the combined length of national highways in Andhra was 4,193 km. However, under the leadership of PM Modi, it is now 8,745 kms."
"We are making green field expressways in Andhra, which are very important for industrial development. Without such expressways, no investment is going to come to the state. The total count of greenfield expressway in the state is currently at 5. We are going to develop a total greenfield length of 662 km. We are spending Rs 30,000 crores on this project," he said.
"The green field expressway is very important because when I was (Union) Shipping minister, there were a lot of problems with the transportation of goods from Andhra Pradesh to Vishakapatnam via Raipur in Chattisgarh. This is why we decided to construct Raipur-Vishakapatnam expressway corridor. We have already started work on this project and it will be completed before the end of 2024. Once opened, this corridor will cut travel time from Vishakhapatnam to Raipur to just 5-and-a-half hours by car and 8-9 hours by heavy commercial vehicles or trucks," Gadkari added. (ANI)