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Country Will Progress With Development Of Villages, Poor People And Farmers: Gadkari

Addressing a programme, he said the Road Transport and Highways ministry has not only constructed roads but also ponds for the storage of water for water conservation.

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Leaders Who Sell Dreams But Don't Deliver Get 'Beaten Up' By People: Nitin Gadkari
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Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various road projects costing Rs 2,367 crore in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur region and said the country will not progress until ensuring the development of villages, poor people, labourers and farmers.

Addressing a programme, he said the Road Transport and Highways ministry has not only constructed roads but also ponds for the storage of water for water conservation.

"The country will not progress until villages, poor people, labourers and farmers are developed. It is a necessity to develop smart cities with smart villages for making India self-reliant, and roads play an important role in it," Gadkari said.

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He said the development of the agriculture sector is crucial to realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream of making India a USD 5 trillion economy at the third position in the world and making the country self-reliant.

Gadkari also said though he is a highways minister, most of the time he works amid farmers. 

Referring to the importance of water conservation, Gadkari said his ministry has also constructed 1,000 ponds so far for free for states including in the Akola district of Maharashtra.

"Earlier, only 300 acres of land in that area was irrigated but the irrigated area is now increased to 4,500 acres, which is also a major source of conservation," he said.

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Gadkari asked Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav to allot government land on the sides of the highway in Jabalpur to the NHAI for excavating raw materials for constructing roads.

He said the place will be developed into a big water storage facility for free, especially for irrigation purposes.

"If 75 per cent of land comes under irrigation in the state, it will make villages prosperous and also boost the income of farmers to lakhs," the Union minister said.

He said reducing the dependency on the import of fossil fuels is in the interest of the Indian economy.  

"Green fuels like bio-fuels and hydrogen have a lot of potential. A day will come when India will not have to import fossil fuels, whose annual bill comes at Rs 16 lakh crore currently," Gadkari said.

Gadkari said he had asked a JCB maker to manufacture a hydrogen-operated machine, and when they accomplished the task, the company got an order from the USA for exporting it.

"Similarly, when they made a CNG/Hybrid model of JCB, the company got an order from Russia for supplying 1,000 such machines," he added.

On the occasion, Gadkari appealed to Chief Minister Mohan Yadav to make Madhya Pradesh a hub of hydrogen production.

"In the future, steel, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, and aeroplanes, trucks, and buses will operate on hydrogen," the Union minister added.

Gadkari also invited Yadav to travel with him to Delhi in his hydrogen-run car, which is the first in the country.

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The Union minister credited Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna launched by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee for connecting over 4.5 lakh villages with pucca roads.  

He also urged the Madhya Pradesh government to allot land for setting up cold storage, pre-cooling plants and a logistics park on a partnership basis for developing a network for storage for exporting fruits and vegetables.

Gadkari also inaugurated a bridge costing Rs 43 crore on the Jamni river on the Tikamgarh-Jhansi road.  He also laid the foundation stones of various road projects, including the Gulganj Bypass to Barna river to be constructed with an estimated cost of Rs 275 crore among others. 

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These projects will benefit the agriculture, tourism, industries and coal sectors among others, the Union minister said.

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