Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday promised to bolster infrastructure in Jharkhand and asserted that Rs 2 lakh crore highway network will be rolled out in the state by 2024.
The Road Transport and Highways Minister said Jharkhand will be in the league of developed states in terms of infrastructure and a network of highways will be completed here including stretches under Bharatmala and economic corridors.
"The projects that you are seeing at present are just a trailer. I promise I will deliver Rs 2 lakh crore road infrastructure projects in Jharkhand," Gadkari said addressing a rally in the state capital Ranchi.
The Union minister said Jharkhand has huge resources including coal and iron and better infrastructure in the state could propel the country's growth.
The road network will boost industry here and create huge employment, Gadkari said, adding that the target is to reduce logistic cost which was much higher in India at 16 per cent as compared to nations like China and the US which has logistics costs hovering around 8 and 12 per cent respectively.
"The target is to reduce the logistics cost of India to 9 per cent by 2024," the Road Transport and Highways minister said.
He urged the Jharkhand government to send proposals for ropeways regretting that no such proposal was received from the state while as many as 260 proposals for building ropeways have come from different states.
Emphasising the need for green fuel, the minister also urged Jharkhand farmers to come forward for the production of ethanol from stubble, rice straw, etc.
Gadkari said he was happy to announce the country's first double-decker bridge in Ranchi and Jamshedpur besides Rs 5,000 crore ring road for 114 km. Work has started on detailed project reports for these.
Regretting that Jharkhand could not develop much despite contributing significantly to power generation, he said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi the aim is to ensure its development.
"Jharkhand roads will match the standard of roads in the US as I believe that road is the parameter of development of any nation," he said.
Gadkari inaugurated and laid foundation stones for 31 projects worth Rs 13,296 crore in the state including nine projects in Jharkhand's Jamshedpur, which entailed an estimated investment of Rs 3,378 crore.
Of these 31 projects, 21 pertain to the state capital Ranchi, incurring an expense of Rs 9,453 crore.
Noting that Jharkhand has made significant contributions to ensure the country’s development, Gadkari said the new highway projects will drive growth and progress in the state.
A 44-km stretch between Jamshedpur and Mahulta on National Highway-33, constructed for Rs 465 crore, was among the projects unveiled in Steel City.
The stretch will provide Delhi-Kolkata and Mumbai-Kolkata connectivity via Jamshedpur, significantly reducing travel time between the destinations.
The project will also drive commercial development in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Odisha, he stated.
Apart from these, Gadkari laid the foundation stone for a four-lane double-decker elevated corridor on NH-33, connecting Kali Mandi, Dimna Chowk, and Baliguma in Jamshedpur, at an estimated cost of Rs 1,876 crore, thus reducing traffic burden on the Steel City.
As part of a Bharatmala package, a four-lane access control road will be constructed on the Raipur-Dhanbad Economic Corridor of NH-320.
"After completion of the project, Raipur will be commercially connected to Dhanbad and travel time between Ranchi and Bokaro will reduce drastically, leading to the social and industrial development of both the states," officials said.