Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari.Reuters File

Reiterating the Narendra Modi government's focus on infrastructure, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that almost ₹5 lakh crore would be invested in road development over the next five years. 

The NDA government has set a target to build 30 kms of road per day in two years from now, said Gadkari, inaugurating the eighth Rubber Expo and Tyre show.

The ministry has reportedly set for itself an ambitious target of awarding contracts for 40,000 kms of national highway in its bid to improve infrastructure across the country.

The government will facilitate and provide ample support to the industry, including reduced interest rate on loans to make the public-private partnership (PPP) execute more projects, said the minister.

Later in the day, addressing the International Road Federation conference, Gadkari noted that while the government focuses on improving mobility by building more roads, it is also determined to lower the number of deaths as a result of road accidents.

Quoting statistics, Gadkari explained that five lakh road accidents take place in a year with about 1.5 lakh people losing their lives. He also said that the government has decided to provide 50% financial assistance to one million-plus cities, so that research and study on how to make roads safe can be undertaken, reported The Times of India.

On the proposed Road Transport and Safety Bill, Gadkari noted that the current law is being overhauled to make road journey safe and also to simplify procedures for securing driving licence and road permits.