Nitin Gadkari retains Road Transport and Highways ministry in new cabinet

  • Nitin Gadkari has been at the helm of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry since 2014 when Narendra Modi became prime minister for the first time.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Nitin Gadkari meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi after taking oath as Union Minister during the swearing-in ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi. (ANI)

Nitin Gadkari has retained the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in the new cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Known for his solid performance as Minister for Road Transport and Highways in the first two terms of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government under PM Modi, Gadkari’s hat-trick has come as very little surprise to many who follow his work closely.

Gadkari registered a dominant win in the recently-announced results of Lok Sabha elections 2024. He had contested the elections from Nagpur and defeated Vikas Thakre of the Indian National Congress by around 1.40 lakh votes.

At the helm of MoRTH since 2014, Gadkari has been praised for the rapid expansion in India’s road network under his leadership. As per a government review at the end of last year, India’s road network has increased from 91,287 km in 2014 to 1,46,145 km in 2023. It is also reported that the pace of construction for national highways in the country quickened by 143 per cent under his watch.

Also Read : Uttarakhand roads will match US standards by 2024 end, claims Gadkari

But it is not just the construction of national highways, including expressways, that Gadkari is credited with. A non-controversial figure, he is lauded for introducing the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (BNCAP) to rate vehicles sold in the Indian market on the basis of safety. He has also said that a minimum of six airbags are mandatory for passenger vehicles to secure a five-star safety rating under BNCAP.

Focus on EVs and vehicles powered by alternate fuels

Gadkari has maintained a consistent view that dependence on petrol and diesel as automotive fuels needs to be brought down owing to emission levels of such vehicles as well as import bill that India incurs on petroleum products.

Also Read : Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, says Gadkari

At an election rally just last month, Gadkari had reportedly stated that India is aiming to eliminate petrol and diesel vehicles in the country by 2034. Previously, he has also stressed on the need for vehicles powered by blended fuel while stressing on the merits of electric vehicles (EVs). He has highlighted his confidence in India becoming the world’s number one market for EVs.

First Published Date: 10 Jun 2024, 20:27 PM IST

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