Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes on Sunday said that the government would initiate measures to make students feel secure on the Manipal University campus.
It may be recalled that a medical student of the university hailing from Kerala was abducted and gang-raped near Manipal on June 20.
Speaking to journalists before addressing Congress workers here, Mr. Fernandes said such incidents take place where there was no proper security. Law would take its own course when it comes to punishing the guilty in the case. Anti-rape laws had been strengthened after the Delhi gang-rape incident. If need be, these laws could be further strengthened, the Minister said.
He said the State government had taken the Manipal gang-rape case seriously. Home Minister K.J. George visited the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, where the victim was recuperating, on June 23. Mr. Fernandes said he had spoken to Mr. George on the case.
Mr. Fernandes said the Union government was holding talks with the State government on upgrading roads belonging to the Fisheries Department in the coastal districts. He had spoken to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on this issue. It needs to be seen how much funds would be allocated in the State Budget for upgrading these roads, he said.
He said highways in the country were being widened as per traffic density, under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. Double roads were being converted into four lanes, and four-lane roads into six lanes. If the density was still higher, roads were being converted into expressways such as Mumbai-Pune expressway, Delhi-Jaipur expressway, Bangalore-Chennai expressway and Delhi-Chandigarh expressway, Mr. Fernandes said.
Vinay Kumar Sorake, Urban Development Minister, was present.