According to the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, traveling from Delhi to Thailand will be possible by road in 2016 itself!
The Union Government is aiming for a whole new high with the more than 4, 000 km link between Thailand and Delhi in 2016. Gadkari talked of multiple initiatives taken by the Government to expand road networks in 2015 along with removing roadblocks. Road building capacity targets have been set by the minister at 100 km in a single day over a period of time. In present times, 18 km is being built every day in comparison to the previous government which could achieve only 2 km daily. The minister had earlier set a target of 30 km a day within a couple of years.
According to him, traveling by car from Delhi to Mumbai will be similar to traveling to Thailand from the Capital. This would be a revolutionary project and almost unbelievable for citizens till now according to the minister. Gadkari also stated how lakhs of crores worth of projects are being executed. Driving your new car through towns, cities and villages will be easier in the near future. Bhutan and Myanmar will be accessible through a much improved and bigger road network. The Chabahar deal with Iran will imply easy driving to Europe and Russia via Afghanistan and Iran post reaching Chabahar through air or sea from India.
Gadkari talked of this as a dream into which the government is heavily investing and clarified that nothing is impossible. Gadkari was one of the key movers of the highly ambitious Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna of ex-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He is also called the Flyover Man from Maharashtra owing to his contribution in developing a flyover network and the Pune-Mumbai Expressway prior to taking charge at the Centre.
India-Myanmar-Thailand are set to sign a trilateral pact by March, 2016. A Nepal, Bangladesh, India and Bhutan Motor Pact (BBIN) has already been signed and 14 routes have been selected for passenger services in addition to 7 for movement of cargo. Project work on this initiative will be concluded soon with funding from ADB. Once the IMT and BBIN are fully operational, vehicle movement between SAARC and ASEAN nations will be a possible dream and could happen quite soon. India will also be developing a tunnel and sea-bridge connecting Sri Lanka while ADB is willing to finance a project worth INR 24, 000 crore for linking Sri Lanka and Rameshwaram.
16 more expressways will be built domestically for freeing Delhi or congestion while green canopies will be laid across several thousand kilometres on National Highways. With Delhi-Thailand travel and other exciting developments in the offing, do we see higher demand for SUVs like a used Toyota Fortuner?