Bengaluru To Chennai By Road In 2 Hours? What Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Said

Nitin Gadkari urged Ashok Leyland and other players to produce vehicles that could use bio fuels (File)


The Bengaluru-Chennai express highway will be launched by this year-end or January 2024 and it will prove crucial in reducing the travel time between the two metros to just two hours, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

Also, Chennai will soon be connected with Delhi through the access-controlled highway project, he said.

“I reviewed the progress of National Highways projects in Chennai today. The Bengaluru-Chennai express highway will start by this year-end or January 2024. So, you can launch luxury buses and sleeper coaches in this sector,” the minister said, addressing the 75th anniversary celebrations of Ashok Leyland in Chennai.

Mr Gadkari, who earlier launched the Ashok Leyland’s IeV series, India’s first electric commercial vehicles in its category, said there is a great requirement for electric buses in the country. 

“We are making good roads. We are connecting Delhi to Chennai via Surat, Nasik, Ahmednagar, Kurnool, Chennai (and beyond to), Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi (and also to) Bengaluru and Hyderabad, through the access-controlled highways project,” he said.

His ministry is in the process of building an electric cable highway between the national capital and Jaipur, he said and urged Ashok Leyland and other players to produce vehicles that could use bio fuels or alternative energy, such as e-vehicles, in a big way and help the Centre achieve the goal of a five-trillion-dollar economy.

“I am working on diversification of agriculture to energy and power sector since 2004. Ten days ago, I launched a 100 percent bio-ethanol vehicle. In Bengaluru I had launched Ashok Leyland’s vehicle which can run on methanol-blended fuel. My dream is to ensure the production of methanol trucks in India,” Mr Gadkari said.

The Indian Oil Corporation is producing bio-ethanol-based fuel for automobiles and ethanol aviation fuel too. “Soon, the farmers of Tamil Nadu could help produce ethanol fuel from food grains,” the minister said.

He said he was satisfied over the pace of NH projects and that the work on the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway project would begin soon.

The IeV series launched by the minister are India’s first electric commercial vehicles in its category and aims to provide efficient and eco-friendly solutions for last-minute transportation needs.

At the event, Nitin Gadkari said hydrogen as an alternative fuel was the future. “The import of fossil fuel is a big problem for the country in terms of economy and pollution. So, it is imperative to explore and utilise bio fuels for sustenance, and reduce the logistics cost to single digit in about three to four years, from about 16 per cent at present,” he said.

Further, this would make India competitive and a global player in exports, Mr Gadkari added.

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