New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said that the Central government is looking forward for the infrastructural development in the country this year and his ministry has planned to spend Rs 5 lakh crore on the infrastructure.

He said this while addressing a gathering at the inaugural function of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) in Nagpur in Maharashtra.

“In the last five years, I have awarded contracts worth Rs 17 lakh crore. This year, I’m planning to touch Rs 5 lakh crore mark in spending on infrastructure development,” Gadkari was quoted as saying by PTI.

On January 16, the Union Minister had also said the Central government is giving more attention to the infrastructural development in the country and assured that his ministry is working on ways to reduce deaths on the roads by half in the coming days.

Earlier speaking in Nagpur at a Road Safety Week function, the minister had expressed grief over the increasing number of deaths due to road accidents. “Five lakh accidents take place in the country every year and around 1.5 lakh people are killed, and between 2.5-3 lakh people are injured. The GDP loss to the country is two per cent,” Gadkari said.

Asking the transport ministers from all the states to prepare a roadmap in this direction, he had said that there is no dearth of resources for infrastructure development in the country. He said that the need is only for a coherent approach to serve the larger public.

He had added that the district-level committees have been formed to examine and suggest such spots which need immediate attention. He had further added that the work on improving road engineering will be undertaken with available resources worth Rs 14,000 crore.