Nitin Gadkari’s Highway Jumla: A Fact-Check on Road Construction
Roads and Shipping Minister, Nitin Gadkari, likes to present himself as the single-handed builder of the Indian highways. He has repeatedly claimed – most recently at the 2016 India Today Conclave – that the pace of highway construction has increased by close to ten times under his watch:
This would be brag-worthy if it were true, but it isn’t. Check the table below:
There has been an increase of 30% in the pace of highway construction between 2014-15 and 2015-16, from about 12 to just under 16 km/day. While that’s commendable, it is the same pace of highway building that the policy-paralysed United Progressive Alliance (UPA) achieved in 2012-13.
Mr Gadkari has a penchant – like others in his government – for exaggeration. Perhaps he should hold the boasts for when the pace of highway construction actually exceeds the (did I mention demotivated and paralysed?) UPA’s.
(The writer is a political analyst)
The article appeared originally here as a blog on chunauti.org.