Nitin Gadkari

The Union road and transport ministry has asked for additional fund of Rs 25,000 crore as budgetary allocation for 2018-19, in an attempt to decongest cities and improve transportation.

Union minister for road and highways, Nitin Gadkari recently wrote to Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to increase allocation for his ministry by around 18 percent, reported Business Standard.

In 2017's Union budget, the finance ministry has allocated Rs 64,900 crore to the ministry of road transport and highways. It is learnt that the government is also likely to announce a Rs 2,000 crore plan for procurement of electric buses in the next Union Budget.

By bringing in innovative solutions like personal rapid transport, electric buses, developing bus ports, and assisting state transport in improving bus fleets, the ministry wanted to decongest major cities. For this, the ministry has prepared a Rs 15,000 blueprint to decongest cities

"The plan is to decongest cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore through innovation in urban transportation. The states require financial aid for this from the central government, which cannot be met through the standard budgetary support the ministry receives every year," a ministry official told Business Standard.

With the Rs 25,000 additional fund, the ministry also proposed to offer financial aid to states to procure electric bus and personal rapid transport initiatives.

"Centre also envisages development of bus ports in collaboration with states in major cities and plans to set aside Rs 2,000 crore as part of viability gap funding for the purpose," the official stated.

The Union government is also planning to seek expressions of interest to build and launch India's first driverless pod taxi system form Dhaula Kuan in Delhi to Manesar in Haryana.