Gadkari seeks Rs. 5,000 cr. fund to fix urban traffic

The minister expressed concerns over the rising road accidents in the country.

Updated - January 20, 2017 03:38 pm IST

Published - January 05, 2017 09:57 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari

A dedicated Rs. 5,000 crore fund to decongest city roads and address frequent traffic snarls could be in the offing in the coming Union Budget, with Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari proposing the creation of such a fund to the Finance Ministry.

“The situation is pretty bad at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru... I have written a letter to the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to allocate funds under a separate head to decongest city roads,” Mr. Gadkari said at a press conference in the Capital on Thursday.

The Ministry has so far sanctioned 102 projects worth Rs. 11,000 crore to tackle the menace of traffic jams and road accidents, he said.

“It takes 1 hour 20 minutes for me to travel from Nagpur to Delhi and at times 1 hour 30 minutes to reach office here in Delhi from the airport. We are already taking various steps towards easing traffic in the national capital,” he said.

To relieve the national capital of its rising traffic, the Centre is building two expressways on its periphery to help inter-state traffic bypass the city’s roads at a cost of Rs. 15,000 crore. Mr. Gadkari said the project was on track and would be completed by August 2017.

To ease congestion in other parts, national highways road length has increased to 1.7 lakh km from 96,000 km, Mr. Gadkari said. The ministry has targeted increasing the national highway length to 2 lakh km.

The minister expressed concerns over the rising road accidents in the country. “Since we have come to power, there has been a four per cent rise in road accidents and this is a cause of concern for us,” he said.

He said the ministry planned to deploy 500 ambulances on national highway stretches prone to road accidents. “There will be four people in each ambulance and paramedical treatment will be possible. It will also have cutting tools,” he said. The minister said that he would soon request charitable trusts to sponsor such ambulances in their vicinity for road safety.

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