Bhubaneswar, Jun 10: Announcing the Centre’s plans to inject Rs 25 lakh crore to strengthen inland waterways, ports and rail-road links, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said these projects will create four crore jobs as the focus of the NDA government is to uplift the poor. “Our aim is to develop rail-road connectivity, inland waterways and ports. A host of projects are being taken up to achieve this at an investment of Rs 25 lakh crore,” said Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, who was in the state for the celebrations of two years of Modi-led NDA government.Also Read - Musical Horn Soon: Sound of Indian Musical Instruments to be Used for Horns of Vehicles

While works involving Rs 2.5 lakh crore have already been taken up, projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore would be kicked off shortly, the minister said adding all these projects undertaken would generate around four crore employment for the youth. Stating that both road and rail connectivity to ports was the key to speedy economic growth, he said an amount of Rs 8 lakh crore would be invested for development of the port sector to make transportation of goods and raw materials for industries cost effective.(Also Read: Centre to invest Rs 75,000 cr to augment road infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh) Also Read - Delhi-Mumbai Expressway to Fetch Rs 1,000 to 1,500 Crore Revenues Every Month: Nitin Gadkari

The 12 public ports in the country have made an overall profit of Rs 6,000 crore this year and the government aims to raise the profit up to Rs 35,000-40,000 crore in four years, the minster said. Describing connectivity between mineral belts and ports important for development, Gadkari said a sum of Rs 4 lakh crore would be spent for the development of port-rail connectivity. Similarly, an investment of around Rs 15 lakh crore would be made for development of the highway sector, which plays a crucial role for economic growth, the Minister said. Also Read - Delhi-Mumbai Expressway: 4 Dedicated Lanes For EVs; Travel Time To Reduce To 13 Hours

He said the Centre has taken concrete steps to accelerate the pace of road construction, which has been enhanced to 24-25 km per day from the earlier level of 2 km per day. The target is to raise it further to 41 km per day. Lamenting that inland waterways was yet to be developed properly in India, Gadkari said while over 40 per cent transportation was done through this sector in countries like China, Korea and European nations, in India it stood at a meagre 3.5 per cent and has now gone up to 6 per cent. Therefore, the government has chalked out an ambitious plan to galvanise the inland waterways involving rivers like Ganga, Brahmaputra and Mahanadi, the minister said adding Rs 4,000 crore was being spent for developing waterway facilities in Ganga. (MORE)