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Highways to be used for laying optical fibre, oil and gas pipelines: Gadkari

Reported by: IANS New Delhi 15 Jul 2017, 15:32:26 IST

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that country's two lakh kilometre-long highways could be used for laying optical fibre and oil and gas pipelines. 

Speaking at event here, Gadkari said that India has around two lakh kilometres of highways, and the ministry has offered the use of this entire stretch for laying optic fibre and oil and gas pipes. This, he said, could earn the ministry some revenue that can be further utilised for constructing and maintaining roads. 

Commending the role played by Indian engineers and software experts worldwide, Gadkari said if India wishes to build and maintain a competitive edge over the world, then it needs to leverage technology to get the maximum returns from our assets, a ministry statement said. 

About the road transport sector, Gadkari said that the issue of driving licenses would soon be entirely computerised. 

"The fitness of a person for issue driving licence will be decided through a computer programme with no human interference. This will greatly enhance safety on roads by ensuring that licenses are issued only to deserving drivers," he said.

Gadkari added that e-toll -- rolled out by his Ministry last year -- had helped cut down the traffic congestion at toll plazas on the National Highways as trucks and other vehicles bearing RFID tags were not required to stop at the toll gates, as the toll gets paid electronically. 

The minister said efforts were being made to get more and more vehicles to use RFIDs. 

"Soon these will be available with vehicle dealers and new vehicles will come with the tags already attached. Besides easing congestion, e-tolling will also help reduce pollution and prevent unnecessary wastage of fuel - both corollaries of the long wait at toll plazas," he said, as per the ministry statement.