Basti: Waterways development will be the top priority for NDA government due to its lower fare cost compared to rail and road transport, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Tuesday.
"Development of waterways will be done on priority as fare on it is one fourth of the rail and road fare. First trial of made in Sydney buses, run on waterways will be done in Mumbai within two months.
"We are also eyeing aircraft that can run on water", Gadkari, who is the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said while addressing a gathering here.
He was here to lay the foundation of road project.
As against the five waterways functional in the country, the government is planning development of 101 more including one in Saryu river.
"The work on developing 12 terminals on Banaras to Haldia (Kolkata) waterway will start within two months and would cost around Rs 4,200 crore", he said.
The Minister who spoke on various issues, also touched on the plight of sugar mills due to the fall in prices of the sweetener globally.
Gadkari said the government did not want the mills to close down and emphasised on production of molasses, power and ethanol.
"Use of ethanol is cheap and pollution free as compared to petrol and diesel", he said.
Highlighting modernisation of transport offices, Gadkari said that for monitoring of cases of traffic and motor vehicle act violation, satellites would be used.
He also said about 800 computerised centres are being opened for preparation of driving licences.
"It's matter of concern that 30 percent of drivers were running on road with bogus licences and they were not even trained enough. Due to road accidents, 1.5 lakh persons were dying every year and 3 lakh becoming handcapped," he said.
On demand from local BJP MP, Harish Dwivedi, Gadkari said the 455 km road between Ayodhya (UP) to Sitamadhi (Bihar) would be upgraded into national highway.