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India extends support to Nepal for infrastructure development

PTI 11 Nov 2014, 21:53:42 PM IST

Kathmandu: India today extended full support to Nepal to develop its transport system and infrastructure and suggested it to follow India's successful public-private partnership model in constructing roads and other development projects.

“PPP model has always been a success story for India, which can help eradicate poverty and generate more employment opportunities,” Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said, suggesting Nepal government to learn from India's “success story” in road and infrastructure development.  He said, “India is ready to extend all kinds of support and assistance to Nepal in the matter.”

“Strong political will on the part of the political leadership is the basis for making all kinds of infrastructure development,” he said, addressing Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2014, which started here today, as the keynote speaker.  

“The mission of any government is to eradicate poverty, increase employment opportunity and for that two important things are necessary: industry and infrastructure. For industry to develop you need water, power, transport and communication,” he said.

A government is supposed to control its policy with transparency and vision, Gadkari said, adding “You can donate eye but you cannot donate the vision.” Speaking at the summit, he also shared his experiences as Public Works Department Minister in Maharashtra when he constructed roads, highways and flyovers across the state.  He shared how he raised money from public through issuing bonds in absence of government fund to build roads and flyovers in Mumbai.

“This is the time for you to change things, and the government needs to focus on how it can increase the employment potential, eradicate poverty and raise GDP,” he said.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was the chief guest at the opening of the two-day infrastructure summit.  The senior BJP leader's visit came ahead of the 18th SAARC Summit here on November 26-27 to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Gadkari also pledged support to Nepal for the development of waterways in the landlocked country.  He also offered a proposal for use of alternate water route during a meeting with Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bhimalendra Nidhi in Kathmandu, according to sources.

“In the meeting, Gadkari proposed that India was ready to share its experience with the waterways and provide necessary support,” Nidhi told reporters after the meeting.  Gadkari said the use of waterways was cheaper by half in comparison to road and railways.