A new scheme in the works to raise public funds for road projects

The government was working on a scheme to raise funds from the public at 6 per cent annual interest rate for road infrastructure projects, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha.

“We are working on a scheme to raise funds from the poor and ordinary persons for road projects. We will raise funds at 6 per cent annual interest rate which is higher than what banks provide,” he said in the Upper House today. 

This would benefit the public as they would get a fixed return, he added. 

Speaking during the Question Hour, the road transport and highways minister said that the country had set several world records in road construction despite COVID-19.

The construction of Zoji La tunnel on the Srinagar-Leh highway would be completed before 2024, while another Z-Morh tunnel would be completed in the next three months, he added. 

Highlighting the steps taken to link critical roads with national highways from Leh-Ladakh region, Mr Gadkari said that the government was constructing Zoji La tunnel below Kargil and the work was in progress. 

This tunnel was to be completed in 3.5 years. About 1,000 labourers were working in minus 8 degree temperature inside the tunnel. “I am sure the tunnel will be ready before 2024,” he said. 

Recalling the US President John F Kennedy’s lines, the minister said: “Kennedy said American roads are not good because America is rich. America is rich because American roads are good.” 

Mr Gadkari said that India too would be a prosperous and successful country in the coming years as Indian road infrastructure would be up to the standards of infrastructure in the US and Europe. 

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