High logistics cost is proving a major problem for Indian exports, Indian Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said.
“Our logistics cost is 16-18 percent whereas it is 8-10 percent in China and 12 percent in Europe and the USA. That’s one of the problems in our exports since the costs are high. We are going to accept this challenge and reduce the logistics cost to 8-10 per cent,” Gadkari said.
He said “time has come” to change the rules and regulations related on speed limit on expressways as access-controlled expressways were crucial to reduce fuel costs.
Stating that there was no shortage of money in his ministry, Gadkari said the centre has decided to build 22 greenfield expressways across the country as road infrastructure was vital, including six in Andhra Pradesh.
“Ports, waterways are very important. Road construction is equally important. And, as far as development is concerned, we don’t want to discriminate anybody, because the country belongs to everybody,” he observed.
He said a staggering Rs 3 lakh crore would be spent on road construction in AP by 2024.
“Role of AP is very important in making India economically strong. We will extend 100 per cent support for road development in the state,” the Union Minister added.
Gadkari remarked that “strong political will” was very important to build good infrastructure projects.
Referring to the major greenfield expressway projects for AP, Gadkari said a 465-km expressway between Raipur and Visakhapatnam, traversing through Chhattisgarh, Odisha and AP, would be built at a cost of Rs 16,102 crore.
This would help in increasing business, particularly the container traffic, since railways was already jammed. This project would be completed by the end of 2024.
Greenfield expressways were also underway between Nagpur and Vijayawada (405-km, costing Rs 15,000 crore), Chittoor and Trichur (116-km, Rs 5,000 crore), Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam (Rs 6,000 crore) and Bengaluru and Chennai through AP (Rs 17,000 crore).
These roads would help in the development of backward regions as well as trade.