Updated: April 29, 2020 7:53:58 am
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday asked state governments to take urgent action to facilitate inter-state movement of vehicles carrying essential goods amid the coronavirus lockdown.
States and Union territories were also asked to expedite land acquisition and utilise funds worth Rs 25,000 crore allocated for the purpose to help regain momentum in road construction.
In a video-conference with state transport ministers, Gadkari stressed on speeding up proactive decision-making to accelerate economic development, for which transport facilities serve as the backbone.
According to a government statement, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and MSMEs “called upon all the states/UTs to take urgent action so that blockades of trucks and lorries at inter-state/UT borders is cleared at the earliest possible, as smooth movement of essential goods to various parts of the country is essential”.
He also underlined adherence to guidelines like social distancing, wearing masks, use of sanitisers, both by driver/cleaners and also at dhabas.
Responding to a suggestion, Gadkari said his ministry will start a helpline to resolve transportation issues.
Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh, state transport and PWD ministers/deputy chief ministers, Chief Ministers of Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh also attended the meeting along with Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
“Gadkari informed that he was according top priority to the development of road/highway infrastructure and is planning to enhance National Highway construction by 2 to 3 times of the present pace in next couple of years,” the statement said.
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