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Nitin Gadkari: Why is RSS' blue-eyed boy Modi's star performer?

Nitin Gadkari: Why is RSS' blue-eyed boy Modi's star performer?
20 Nov 2017
  • In 2014, PM Narendra Modi allocated $3bn for cleaning Ganga. Cut to 2017, and the plan is badly behind schedule, with contaminated stretches of river-water.
  • With 2019 elections looming large, who could Modi trust to achieve in two years what hasn't been done in three? None other than the ever-dependable transport minister, Nitin Gadkari.
  • So, why has Gadkari been Modi's star performer? Let's analyze.

  • Who is Nitin Gadkari?
  • Born into a Brahmin middle-class family in Nagpur, Gadkari was associated with the RSS and ABVP since the beginning.
  • During 1995-1999, as PWD minister, Gadkari is remembered as the "flyover man" who constructed about 55 flyovers, including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
  • He also promoted the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, wherein private outfits received concessions to construct roads; this move boosted private investments.

  • Modi plays to Gadkari's strength: Makes him transport minister
    Transport minister
  • Reportedly, after becoming PM, when Modi constituted his cabinet, Gadkari was being considered for the defense-portfolio.
  • However, Gadkari convinced Modi about his mastery in transportation-related projects. This got him the road transport and highways ministry.
  • Gadkari hit the ground running completing ambitious projects, which were gathering dust, within 15 months. He set the target of constructing roads at 15km/day and reviewed the progress daily.

  • What are Gadkari's achievements?
  • Gadkari's main achievement is hastening road construction.
  • Sample these figures: When Gadkari took over, construction rate stood at 11.5km/day, which rose to 22.5km/day in 2016-17.
  • By introducing new rules, Gadkari addressed the issue of reduced private investments.
  • He eased the exit policy for developers facilitating their investments in new projects.
  • A PPP type, hybrid annuity model, was introduced wherein Centre bore 40% project cost.

  • Jewels in Gadkari's crown: Bharatmala, awarding 16,800km projects in 2016-17
  • As transport minister, Gadkari secured approval for the centrally-funded Bharatmala project. Bharatmala involves over 84,000km of road construction over five years costing Rs. 7L cr.
  • It will increase national corridors from 6 to 50, double freight on national highways and connect 200 more districts with highways.
  • Apart from this, in 2016-17, Gadkari awarded work for a record 16,800 km of highways.

  • Gadkari's work garnered praise; was entrusted water resources ministry
    Additional charge
  • Gadkari has consistently received compliments from across party lines.
  • Congress' KC Venugopal praised Gadkari for being a "sincere" minister, trying hard to address challenges in the road transport sector.
  • BJD's Tathagata Satpathy and TMC's Dinesh Trivedi also commended Gadkari's impressive performance.
  • Moreover, during September's re-shuffle, Modi acknowledged Gadkari's performance and gave him the additional charge of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation.

  • How does Gadkari plan to clean-up Ganga by March 2019?
    Clean Ganga
  • Gadkari plans to clean-up Ganga before 2019 LS elections.
  • His innovative approach involves getting industrialists, public sector banks, corporate houses, etc. to adopt stretches of the river's banks.
  • They can choose a project, change its design and maintain it for 10-15 years.
  • A whopping 150 projects are expected to take-off by next March; of these, 97 will prevent dirty water from entering the river.

  • What are his future plans for transport ministry?
  • Gadkari's dream projects are Uttarakhand's "Chaardham" link for Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri and Pithoragarh - Mansarovar (in Tibet) road connectivity.
  • Other targets are to attract Rs. 25Lcr in investment, of which Rs. 7Lcr is achieved; reducing road fatality count by half; ensuring employment for 10mn people.
  • With two years left, Gadkari has his hands full.

  • But, what makes Gadkari different?
    Distinct qualities
  • But, what sets Gadkari apart from his contemporaries?
  • Gadkari prefers to keep a low-profile professionally.
  • Further, he tends to follow moderate/liberal politics, which is quite a change from the ideological rigidity that is often seen in RSS/ABVP leaders.
  • Apart from this, Gadkari expects his ministry to work like an MNC. He famously calls himself a 'go getter'.

  • This post first appeared on NewsBytes: Latest News, Breaking News India, Today News, Current News, please read the originial post: here

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    Nitin Gadkari: Why is RSS' blue-eyed boy Modi's star performer?


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