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Gadkari invites UAE investors for infra development
 
New Delhi/Dubai, Oct 30 (PTI) Inviting UAE investors to join hands with India and be part of its infrastructure growth story, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said two mega initiatives worth Rs 24 lakh crore - Sagarmala and Bharatmala - are going to be game changers.

Addressing the India-UAE Business Summit in Dubai via video conferencing, the highways, shipping and river development minister said India is also keen to attract investors from UAE for the Clean Ganga Mission and projects related to it.

"India shares a good relation with UAE. A lot of the stakeholders from UAE are investing in India... Prime Minister has taken a great bold decision to start Bharatmala wherein we are planning to start projects worth Rs 8 lakh crore within 2 years," he said.

"These are important projects related to border connectivity, internal ring roads, tribal areas, tourism...

There is huge potential available," he added.

Gadkari informed investors that in an ambitious initiative, Sagarmala, "we are expecting the investment of Rs 16 lakh crore including Rs 4 lakh crore for port road connectivity and modernisation of ports.

"We have started work worth Rs 1.6 lakh crore in the port sector. Investors have huge opportunity and should join hands with us".

In Sagarmala, the government has planned for 14 industrial clusters and special economic zones which are going to accelerate the economy, he said.

He said the ministry in JNPT, one of the 12 major ports in India, is planning for special economic zone where it is expecting investment of Rs 6,000 crore besides creation of 1.25 lakh jobs.

"We have a huge Clean Ganga Mission. Cities on banks of Ganga are polluting its water. We are going to start work on projects to clean the river before March next. There are various projects worth Rs 4,000 crore... I request all of you (investors) in Dubai to take up projects. We are developing websites for it, all detailed project reports are ready," he said, adding that they could also sponsor and maintain a project for 15 years.

He said investors could also help Clean Ganga Mission by donating for it.

Stressing that there was remarkable presence of the UAE companies in India, he said the government was interested in investments from there, especially in the infrastructure sector which has been accorded the topmost priority.

He said the road building pace was bound to reach 40 km a day shortly, from 23 km currently, adding that it was barely 2 km a day when the BJP government had taken over.

"In highways sector alone we have awarded more than 35,000 km of highways construction. We are making express highways, green express highways," he said.

Besides, he said the government has plans to develop 101 rivers into waterways and work on 10 such stretches will begin shortly.

"We are working on Ganga, Brhamaputra and some other rivers and by end of this year we will start work on 10 inland waterways in the country. We have 20,000 km of river length.

Ganga work has already financed by World Bank with Rs 5,000 crore assistance and we are developing three multimodal hubs at Varanasi, Sahibganj and Haldia," he said.

He said exports will start from these multimodal hubs and there would also be 40 river ports in addition to cruise tourism in Ganga.


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