Goa-Mumbai coastal highway on lines of Vegas-Pacific Coast?

Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 20:58 IST | PTI |

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the government is contemplating the possibility of developing a coastal highway connecting Goa to Mumbai on the lines of one on the Las Vegas-St Francisco Pacific Coast

Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

Panaji: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the government is contemplating the possibility of developing a coastal highway connecting Goa to Mumbai on the lines of one on the Las Vegas-St Francisco Pacific Coast.

"I have been to the USA recently. I had an opportunity to travel on the St Francisco-Las Vegas road Pacific Coast highway. I travelled for almost 12 hours by road," Gadkari said after laying the foundation stone for 4/6 laning of NH 4-A and 17 in the coastal state today.

Gadkari said during his visit to the Pacific Coast highway, the concept of developing Goa-Mumbai coastal highway on similar lines struck his mind.

"I thought that we could similarly develop a Mumbai-Goa coastal highway for tourism purpose. An international agency has been assigned work of preparing a detailed project report on Mumbai-Goa coastal highway," the minister said. Gadkari said the coastal highway requires construction of 22 fly-overs.

"During my tenure as PWD minister in Maharashtra government, I completed 18 flyovers. We have to construct four more fly overs. One of the important bridges has to be constructed connecting Revas to Alibag which will be a sea link costing Rs 500-600 crore. The work on coastal highway will begin from next year,' the minister said.

Gadkari said during his visit to the USA, he saw a road which between a bridge and the sea which houses hotels and restaurants. "We want to develop Mumbai-Goa coastal highway on similar lines," he commented.

Talking about Goa, Gadkari said in 2014, only 260 kms of national highway existed in Goa. "I am happy to inform you that during our tenure we constructed new national highways of 330 kms for which Rs 3,500 crore was spent," he added. The minister said the new bridge over Zuari bridge would be a world attraction which is being constructed at the cost Rs 2,500 crore.

There will be towers at the both the sides of the bridge and there will be a road via river to reach to these towers. 'All the works which are taken up in Goa would be completed by 2018,' he added.

Meanwhile, Gadkari, who is also the Shipping Minister, claimed that the logistic cost to ferry goods in India can be brought down from 18 to 12 per cent with the usage of waterways.

"There are so many containers that travel by road. We want to shift them on the waterways so as to reduce accidents on the roads. I appeal the business community in Goa to use the waterways to transport your goods. That will save you much expenditure," said the Minister.

He said in China, 47 per cent of the goods and passenger traffic is through waterways.

"Similarly in Japan and Korea it is 44 per cent, in European countries 40 per cent but in India it is mere 5-6 per cent. It is cheaper to send the goods from Mumbai to London compared to sending it to Delhi from Mumbai. Our logistic cost is 18 per cent. We need to reduce the logistic cost," Gadkari added.

"We have 7,500 km long shore line and 111 rivers covering 20,000 kms. We want to use this waterways. We have already started working on river Ganga," Gadkari informed. He said similar to that of airport and bus stations, the Centre wants to have water ports.

"We are planning to construct 2,000 water ports across the country. If we reduce the logistic cost from 18 per cent to 12 per cent we will be able to reduce the expense by maximum," he said.

Talking about Goa, the Minister said, "in Goa we need to reduce the pollution on the road and in the water. You have seen how Delhi is reeling under pollution. To save Goa from pollution we should take the transport on bio diesel, ethanol, bio-CNG and electric modes".

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