Press Trust of india

Development works will be carried out without bringing in politics: Gadkari

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Pune:  Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said that development works, be it in Maharashtra or India, will be carried out without bringing in any kind of politics.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of two National Highway projects in Sangli, the Union transport minister said he considers himself an “ambassador of Maharashtra” and feels that the state should emerge on top in the country.

“In the last seven years of my tenure, I got an opportunity to execute development works worth Rs 5 lakh crore in Maharashtra. I was in port, shipping, water resources, MSME and road transport (as a minister), but I always considered myself an ambassador of Maharashtra and feel that the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj should prosper and flourish,” Gadkari said.

If any state should emerge as number one, it should be Maharashtra, he said.

The minister further said that development works will be carried out without bringing in any politics and assured that the demands put forth before him will be fulfilled.

“We are going ahead with an attitude that as far as development works are concerned, be it of anybody, if it is related to the development of Maharashtra or country, it will be carried out without bringing in any politics,” Gadkari said.

As a minister for ropeways and cable cars, he appealed that proposals be sent for alternate modes of transport, especially for tourism purposes.

State Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, BJP MP from Sangli Sanjay Patil and others were also present at the inauguration of Rs 2,344 crore highway projects.

Gadkari also underlined the importance of water conservation along the national highways to address various issues.

The minister said that to encourage the export of sugar, he is ready to set up a logistics park or satellite port in Sangli.

“I am building 29 road-cum-airstrips. Seven are already built. I am ready to build a road-cum-airstrip in the logistics park where any plane can land,” he said.

A new national highway is also being bulit from Pune to Bengaluru and it has been designed in such a way that the traffic is not affected in monsoon, Gadkari said.

“The proposed highway is 699 km, whereas the current distance on the NH 4 (Mumbai-Pune-Bengaluru Highway) is around 775 km. The alignment has been completed and it will go through backward and drought-prone regions of Pune-Satara-Sangli district,” the minister said.

The transport ministry is also building bitumen roads on a big scale.

“Praj industry in Pune has successfully made bitumen out of sugar bagasse and biomass. I have said this time and again that farmers should not remain just ‘anna data’ (food donors), but should also become ‘urjadata’ (energy donors),” he said.

“We are considering making the use of bitumen produced by the biomass mandatory for all national highway projects. So farmers in the country can provide a substitute for petrol and diesel by producing ethanol, they can also give a substitute for energy and provide bitumen and there will be no need to export the bitumen,” Gadkari said.

The entire economy of western Maharashtra is dependent on sugar.

“There is a smile on your (sugarcane cultivators) faces as there is a drought in Brazil (the highest sugar-producer), but once sugar production goes up there and the prices go down by Rs 10 per kg in India, think of the situation of Indian farmers,” he said.

To avoid this situation, in the coming days, ethanol can be produced instead of sugar and bitumen from bagasse.

Meanwhile, during his free-wheeling interview with Marathi actor Rahul Solapurkar in Sangli, Gadkari said that he does not do politics these days.

“I only do ‘samajkaran’. I tell people to vote for me if they feel necessitated. I don’t put up cutouts, I don’t garland anyone, I don’t go to airports to welcome anyone. There were only two people – former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lata Mangeshkar – to whom I put garland using my own funds,” the minister said.

“A minister does not belong to any party, he belongs to the government and I follow that principle,” he said.

Gadkari further said that he is an RSS volunteer and the idealogies of the outfit and BJP are part of his conviction.

“I will not compromise on the ideology. Though I belong to one party and ideology, one thing is that this society and country belong to me. I firmly believe that politics is the instrument of socio-economic transformation,” he said.

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