The Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra will undergo a complete transformation in two years after completion of road projects, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari has said.
Gadkari said this while inaugurating three important bridges and two road improvement projects in the district through video link. He also laid the foundation stones for four other major bridge projects across the rivers Wainganga, Bandiya, Perikota and Perimili. These projects are expected to go a long way in the socio-economic development of the backward district.
“The all-weather road network in the far-flung areas of Naxal-affected districts like Gadchiroli will improve the socio-economic development in the region and the upcoming two years or so the Gadchiroli district will see an all-round transformation,” remarked Gadkari.
With the construction of these key bridges, the national highway connectivity in Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh-Telangana was now complete, he said.
“This is a dream which has come true after nearly 25 years when it was conceived when I was a minister in Maharashtra,” he said.
Gadkari said the total length of the national highway in Gadchiroli district has increased from 54 km to 647 km during his tenure. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) had approved 44 road projects of 541 km length with an outlay of Rs 17.4 billion for Gadchiroli district.
The minister wholeheartedly complimented the engineers and contractors who completed the construction of bridges in Gadchiroli despite the threat from Naxals or left-wing extremists. He informed that the bridge across River Indravati was completed under very trying conditions. A police station had to be set up to help construct the bridge.
Foundation Laid for 4 Major Bridges
The union minister also laid the foundation stones for four major bridges on Perimilli, Bandiya, Pearikota and Waingagana rivers in the district. The existing bridges across these rivers are narrow and often get submerged during monsoons.
The bridge across the Wainganga River of approximately 825 metres will improve the connectivity between Gadchiroli and Chandrapur district.
The minister also asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials to utilise the saved amount of Rs 500 million during the works of major bridges to construct 14 minor bridges and ensure seamless transportation in otherwise inaccessible areas of Gadchiroli districts.
Gadkari also promised to approve the 35 km road development between Alapalli-Bamragarh this year and the remaining 65 km in the next financial year. The minister also sought the state Government’s nod to connecting Desaiganj-Brahmapuri with Nagpur under the broad-gauge metro connectivity plan, which would reduce the travel time to 75 minutes from the current two and half hours.
Speaking about his vision for the development of backward areas in the capacity of an MSME Minister, Gadkari said that with bamboo available in plenty, Gadchiroli could easily become the hub of Agarbatti manufacturing, whose import has now been stopped. He said there was a scope to set up 100 units, which would give employment to local people.
The minister also informed that he was initiating a project for the conversion of rice to ethanol in Gadchiroli as part of the Central Government's biofuel development programme.
“This will provide greater value for rice growers and also create jobs,” he added.
Gadkari requested Maharashtra’s Public Works Minister, Eknath Shinde to explore various avenues for job creation in Gadchiroli with a target of employing 10,000 youth.
Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways Gen (Retd) Dr. VK Singh complimented the completion of developmental Road projects in the area, claiming that it would go a long way in mainstreaming of people living in areas affected by left-wing extremism. He said an area progressed only when infrastructure was developed there. He said that with more and more infrastructure projects coming up in these areas, the extremism was coming down gradually.