JC Show : INTERVIEW WITH UNION MINISTER NITIN GADKARI BY ETV NEWS NETWORK HEAD JAGDEESH CHANDRA

Q: Welcome to ETV’s JC Show. Though there’s a lot of debate on whether Good Days of Modi has come or not, one thing is for sure that Nitin Gadkari is doing very good works. What are those?

 

A: People can better judge my work. I feel that we are a rich nation with poor population. We can change this situation. I have a budget of 3.5 lakh crore for five years combining the two ministries that is under me. But, I have targeted to complete 25 lakh crore worth projects by the completion of my five year tenure. At least five crore youths will get jobs through the projects that we have under taken in roads, ports, shipping, waterways sectors. We want to build dry ports in Rajasthan. If we compare the cost of transporting, then what costs 1.5 rupees by road, will cost one rupee by train and by waterways it costs only 20 paise. At international market, our logistic cost is 18 per cent, where as that of China is 8 per cent. 47 per cent of China’s passengers and goods traffic depend on water ways. It’s 43 to 44 per cent in Korea and Japan. In UK, European countries and Germany, it’s more than 40 Per cent. But, in India it was earlier only 3.5 per cent. In two years, we increased it to 6 Per Cent. I want to run ships in Indira Canal. Through this, one will not only get water to drink, but also for irrigation for agriculture, fisheries, as well as goods and passengers can be transported. We want to build water grid and want to link to ocean. Our parliament has passed the bill to make inland water ways in 111 rivers. We have started the work on Ganga River worth 4 thousand crore rupees. We also want to work in Rajasthan. Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje has given a report in this regard. We will make a canal from Gujarat Boarder, between Kandla and Mundra Port. The canal will go 350 Kilometers through Jhalore district. People will get water from this, and waterways can also be helpful for transport. This will increase the export and also create jobs for the people.

Q: When do you think to complete your vision on Rajasthan and the Indira Canal?

A: I have put forth the proposal. If Rajasthan Government approves the project, then definitely I will work on it.

Q: You have special attention on Rajasthan. What other things you are working for Rajasthan?

A: I’ve special attention to all the states, be it Kerala, Maharashtra or Rajasthan. Even in Karnataka, where Congress government is there. But, even there, people say we have done good works. I am positive on works. I focus on how the works with positive approach, transparency, fast track decision making process, team works and commitment for the society and the nation.

Q: What is the deadline for Delhi-Jaipur High Way?

A: Almost 90 per cent of the work has been completed. Works for four flyovers were pending. Those will complete in three to four months. We had targeted to complete by December. But, I expect it to complete two months before targeted time. But, the good news is that we are building eastern and western by-pass to decongest the traffic in Delhi. When the full ring road will be completed, then the traffic in Delhi and the pollution will come down. The work for new Express Highway Access Control from Delhi-Jaipur, which will link to the Jaipur Ring road, will also start from this year. Talks are on to acquire land for this. This will go through back ward areas and it will be beneficial to Jaipur and Rajasthan. The distance between Delhi-Jaipur can be covered in one and half hours.

Q:  Is the land acquisition for this is the same that had been done during UPA government time?

A: No. We have made new alignment. We have shown the presentation to Rajasthan Government and CM Vasundhara Raje.

Q: When do you expect to start this project?

A: We have just worked on the alignment proposal. We have kept away the developed cities and tried to go through backward areas, where we can get government lands. In the old alignment project the land acquisition cost was 18 thousand crore rupees. But, in the new alignment the land acquisition cost will be within 8 to 10 thousand crore rupees.

Q: What is the biggest achievement of your ministry in last two years?

A: Earlier, only two kilometers of roads were laid per day. Now, this has come up to twenty kilometers per day. By May 26, when we will complete two years in the ministry, we have kept a target of 30 kilometers per day. Though, we can’t achieve that target, but, we will reach to twenty five kilometers target. For next year, our target is forty kilometers per day. In these years, we have signed works worth 1.5 lakh core rupees, which includes nearly forty thousand crores in Rajasthan only. Will give projects worth sixty thousand crores in two years for Rajasthan. We will fund nearly one lakh crore rupees for Rajasthan in Five years. This excludes, the inland waterways and dry ports. By completion of two years of my tenure, we will have 2.5 lakh crore worth projects by two ministries that comes under me. On third year, itself we have a target of three lakh crore worth projects in one year. There is no dearth of fund, we need people who can work on that pace.

Q: You said, there’s no dearth of funds for projects. How can you arrange so much funds?

A: It’s due to our financial model. When I was minister in Maharashtra government, at that time only five crore rupees given by government. Rest four thousand crore rupees were generated from market and public for the projects during 1996-97. And the work done worth eight thousand crore rupees. And after this work, we returned the money to the public. I have a budget of fifty five thousand crore rupees. Taking into consideration of next three years, the total budget comes to three lakh crore rupees. Along with this, government has given permission to go for seventy thousand crores tax free bonds. It came to three lakh seventy thousand crore rupees. If we securitize the  hundred and one projects that will be built on government fund, then we can generate another one lakh crore rupees. This takes the fund to 4.7 lakh crore rupees. Besides, we get toll income of twelve to fifteen thousand crore rupees. If we securitize that for fifteen years, then we will get another 1.5 lakh crore rupees. All these taken together, we get nearly six lakh crore rupees. We will get loans from different countries, funding organizations and banks at cheaper rates. For example, we are building an eight lane road at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai. We initially talked to Indian Bank for loan of three thousand crore rupees at 12 per cent interest rate. But, in Dollar Funds we got the same loan at  2.15 per cent rate. We have projects of 50 thousand crores in shipping. In shipping our profit is 6 thousand crore. Our budget is 18 hundred crores and turnover is of 4 thousand crore, which is in dollar. If we take loan for this 50 thousand crore rupees in dollar, then we will get it at 2.5 per cent interest rate. So, there is no dearth of funds. We are also going on PPP model.

Q: I heard that you want to spend five thousand crores to make the highways green. What is this project?

A: We have taken two decision. 1 per cent of the cost of high ways will be kept for greening the high ways. This will include plantation, trans-plantation, beautification and maintenance. We did workshop for this in Delhi. We invited NGOs, and institutions to come forward for this. We offered them 10 lakh rupees per kilometer for plantation, trans plantation, maintenance. 1 Per cent, we have kept for road safety. In our nation, every year five lakh people meet accident and three lakh people lose their limbs. 1.5 lakh people lose their life. We want to reduce the road accident. And trying to reduce this by half in five years. We have moved this proposal to cabinet. We have identified 726 accidental prone spots, for which we have made provision of 26 thousand crore rupees. We want to put cameras, signals in those spots. We have decided to open an website, where we will mention the accidental prone spots. And asks the people to inform us. We will inform the municipal corporations and state governments to take remedies. We will also make survey and study, constituting a team, comprising of MPs, MLAs, Collector, Media Person, NGOs. They will study the accident prone areas of different districts and come out with solutions. Another is to create awareness among people on Road Safety. Like not to talk on phone while driving, to wear helmets while driving bikes. We are also working on improving road engineering and automobile engineering. We are working on installing cameras. We are working on New Motor Vehicle Act. Recently, a meeting of all transport ministers from states was held under chairmanship of Yunoos Khan, the transport minister of Rajasthan. They gave some reports. Basing on their suggestions, we are coming with new Motor Vehicle Act. We are trying to eliminate the bogus driving licenses. We are computerizing the Driving Licenses. We have opened online driving test centres. And the licenses will be issued in three days.

Q: Any major achievements in Shipping Sectors?

A: We have 7.5 thousand kilometers of sea front. 78 districts from 13 states and 18 per cent of population are in direct contacts with these sea front. We can do passenger and goods transport using this sea front. We are working on hovercraft bus, which can travel on both land and water. Besides, we have 20 thousand kilometers of water ways in 111 rivers that flows in our country. We can add more water ways through the canals like Indira Canals. We want to build traffic on water like roads. We have opened road port connectivity corporation. The office is in Mumbai. We are also working on projects of one lakh crores rupees in two three years.

Q: Are you briefing your works to Prime Minister. Is he happy with your works?

A: Yes. If anyone will do good work, then definitely all will be happy. I sit will chief ministers of all states and work out their requirements. Tried to sort out the issues. I work with state governments, irrespective of which party they are. For me Nation is first. It is cheap to transport things from Mumbai to Dubai, London than Mumbai to Delhi. We are building a port in Chabar. The distance between Chabar to Kandla is less than Mumbai to Delhi. The gas is available at two rupees rate. If we set up Urea factory there, then the subsidy will be reduced by 15 thousand crore rupees. And the cost of Urea will be halved. And ultimately farmers will get the benefit. I belong to Nagpur. So, I want to run green buses in Nagpur. So, we sold the toilet wastage at cost of 18 crore rupees. From that waste water, we’re drawing Methane. Removing CO2 from Methane, we are preparing Bio-Gas on which hundred buses are running. Hundred buses to run on Ethanol. One bus to run on electricity. 10 buses to run on Bio-Diesel. Whole Nagpur people can travel on AC Buses. This can be possible. Similarly, we want to produce Methane from Slaughter House and Vegetable wastes. Similar works can be done in Jaipur.

Q: What tension was with Narendra Modi that you said get relax and listen to Gazals?

A: This is not the thing. Many issues keep on coming. So, we should also keep moving without any tension.

Q: How do you rate Narendra Modi as Prime Minister?

A: He is the most visionary Prime Minister with administrative ability and ability to implement those vision. He keeps his unique vision and try to implement and follows up the works be it from Industry to Agriculture, or be it Tribal Development to Swach Bharat, or Education to Skill Development. He has specialty in this. The GDP of nation is 7.2 to 7.5 per cent under his able leadership. But, we will reach to 11 per cent in five years. And my department will contribute at least three per cent.

Q: How does Modi get such craze and response during his foreign visits? What is the reason behind this?

A: The thing is that he communicates with the people. Speaks of his mind and heart. His office is fully loaded with ITs. He is connected to people through social media. He come to know about people’s issues through all these mediums. For all this he has become a world leader. America, Canada recognize him. He has come out as a leader with a vision. And a vision for development. Take for example of  Yoga Day. People like Baba Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar took Yoga to the world. But, it’s Modi who convinced the world to celebrate World Yoga Day. For all this, people are attracted to him.

Q: It’s said that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are made for each other. You were also the Party President. How do you see Amit Shah different as Party President?

A: All do good work. When I was Party President, I had made one thing that if anyone has to discuss anything then, he or she can put it forth at party forum. Party issue should not be talked outside. And our party is not the property of any particular family members. It’s a public and democratic party. It’s workers’ party.

Q: Recently Election going on in five states. Do you think, your party can form government in Assam?

A: I have toured these states. I feel we can form government under leadership of Sarbananda Sonowal. In Tamilnadu, Kerala and West Bengal, we were almost non existent. But, now we will emerge as a strength in these states. Our percentage will increase. In assembly we will get a chance to come up as an important responsible party.

Q: Do you stand by your assurance to build infrastructure, roads in Assam, whether you come to power or not in Assam?

A: Nitish and Laloo had also asked same for Bihar State. They asked since your government couldn’t come to power in state, will you still go by the projects worth 75 thousand crores that you had announced. Then I said them that you keep it in writing. I will fulfill whatever I had said. We believe in Sab Ka Sath, Sab Ka Vikash. We work irrespective of the party in power.

Q: One side there is talk of growth and development. On the other hand there is no move in share market, Jewelers are worried. Then, how do you feel the good days will come?

A: It’s the fact that China Economy has come down. Slow Down is in the whole world economy. So, it’s obvious that financial crisis is looming over the world. It’s a global Phenomena. We have also difficulties in different sectors. When there was import of steels from China, at that time our steel market was in difficulties. Cement industries were also facing difficulties. When we worked on Infrastructure, the steel and cement industries started prospering. We are also accepting that everything is not in good position. But, we are trying to improve the situation. Banks positions are also not in good terms. But, we can not term every defaulter as thief. We have to see if default is bonafide mistake or malafide mistake.

Q: What you have to say on Vijaya Mallaya on this prospect?

A: Judicial Proceedings are going on about the default of Vijaya Mallaya. Steps will be taken on what ever will be right. Earlier, his companies were giving interest to banks regularly. At that time, people were rating him good, the consultants were considered good, their managers were considered good. When one company faced difficulty, then all are termed as thief. Government is taking action as per law. Over All, we have to take a positive development oriented approach. We should help the bonafide defaulters. Actions should be taken against malafide defaulters.

Q: What is the progress on Black Money Issue? How hopeful are you?

A: The way the economy is changing, people can not hoard black money outside. The economical reforms on gold and in other things will curb black money. Slowly, the black money will come back. We have also given an option to disclose the black money by paying tax and penalty.

Q: Some people say that you have changed the concept of black money after coming to power. Black Money should have been brought from Geneva, Switzerland, London, Mauritius. But, you are searching the black money in Ranchi, Lucknow, Bombay and Chawdi Bazar.

A: There’s separate law for black money kept abroad. And separate law for black money hoarded in the country. There are internal and external laws for these. It’s government’s duty to implement the laws. Take for example, circulation of fake currency that comes from Pakistan and Bangladesh. That is also an issue. Second, people feel pinch due to complicity in tax laws. So, we are trying to build an economy which will be transaction oriented. One need not require to pay tax. Taxes will be deducted during transaction through banks. We are working on such proposals. In this team along with me, there are Manohar Parikar, some economists, some media people, some film stars are also involved. After chalking out plan, we will place the proposal before Modi. It’s a difficult work. Everyone should extend support. Ultimate aim is that people should not face difficulties. Like, recently we worked on toll collection. Now, there’s no need to stop at toll gates. Like recharging mobiles, there will be Fast Track Sticker on the Car Wind Shield. The toll will be auto deducted and you will be getting messages on all the deductions. Sixty thousand crores will be saved through this. Similarly, we are placing scanners in all the ports. The rails can be scanned. There won’t be need of presence of customs or inspectors. We are adopting technologies. This will automatically reduce the corruption. Modiji is giving stress on ease of doing business. We are working on that line.

Q: You are discovery of BJP and RSS Culture. So, how is your relation with RSS?

A: There is difference between Modernization and Westernization. RSS is not against Modernization. It’s against Westernization. Second is Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Technology and Research comes under head Knowledge. Our vision is to conversion of Knowledge into Wealth. We are also making Car Scrapping policy. We are working on conversion of waste into wealth. Garbage can be a creation of five lakh crore economy. The waste water of Jaipur can be recycled and used to water the garden. We are working on 15 projects with Uma Bharti on Ganga River. We are working on to recycle the waste water of industries and reuse that.

Q: Do you feel that Prime Minister has given the power of attorney of all departments to you?

A: No. Nothing such has been happened. I am concentrating on departments given to me. I am working for my constitution. I open for suggestion. My principle is either you convince me or convinced by me. I had started bank of Ideas and Innovations, when I was minister for Rural Development. Lots of ideas and innovations poured in. We are trying to modernize the buses that is plying in our country. The fare will be less as it will run on electricity, bio-diesels or bio-gases.

Q: How do you control officers and bureaucrats, as they normally oppose changes?

A: There’s no vested interest in the works. No contractors meet me on this. Contracts given through E-tenders. I strictly go by quality of the works and instructions given accordingly. We maintain transparency. If the top person is strict, then it follows below the line. My people are good and they are doing work hard and honestly. We give strength to good workers and punish the bad workers.

Q: What is your preparation for UP Election?

A: I am concentrating on my departments. I am too loaded with the works. So, unable to take any other responsibilities. I keep my focus like eye of the fish for Arjun. In addition to that I do whatever my party says. Like I am going to Maharashtra on 3rd with Uma Bharti on Water issues.

Q: People in Maharastra saying that the chief minister has focus on image building, but not on delivery. Do you also get similar feed backs?

A: The chief minister has worked with me. He is a hard working person. The financial situation of the state had deteriorated drastically in last 10 years. It need some time to put it on track. Centre is giving support. We are working on to resolve the water issues. I believe Maharashtra will progress under his leadership.

Q: You have worked a lot in Maharashtra. Do you feel to go back to Maharastra?

A: Earlier, I was not interested to come to Delhi. Now, I am not interested to go to Maharashtra. I have lot of dreams and vision to fulfill. After the Uttarakhand disaster, we decided to built all weather roads to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri. We are building a road from Uttarakhand to Mansarovar. I am now attached with the nation’s vision. So, presently not interested to go to Maharashtra.

Q: Do you feel, there is government failure in Latur Water Crisis?

A: If we build four rubber dams, then lot of water crisis can be resolved. If we can convert the bridges as dams than also the water problem in those localities can be sorted out. We can turn the existing bridges to dams. We have to solve the problems by using the technologies. There is no use of talking on problems only. We have to solve the problems.

Q: You said that the irrigation projects in Maharashtra has to be completed on fast track. How is it to be done?

A: Out of 89 AIBP projects, 28 are in Maharashtra. Those are uncompleted. If Indian Government  make a schedule of five years and assure to provide four five thousand crore every year, then the projects can be completed. Many other projects are pending and uncompleted. If all these can be completed then two crore hectare lands will be irrigated and agriculture production will increase two and half fold.

Q: What about Chagan Bhujbal ? He alleges of vendetta?

A: Actions are taken as per courts. Court is monitoring the issue.

Q: What about the Augusta Helicopter issue?

A: The truth is coming out.

Q: Will government take this issue to a logical level?

A: It’s the Italy Court which gave decision and disclosed about who took bribes, be it officials or leaders. It’s court’s decision. The government is not taking any vindictive actions.

JC: It’s came out from this interview that you are the best result oriented delivery man in this government. Thank You Very Much.
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