Chennai: Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu said that a ‘green corridor´ for transport of agricultural products to meet the connectivity gap between the rural road network and the highways was under consideration.
“The Green Corridor Project, which will be a service road, is proposed to be taken up once work on the ‘Golden Quadrilateral Project´ gets completed,” he said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a seminar on ‘Warehousing 2008—The Warehousing (Development and Regulation) Act:Issues and Challenges´, organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
“The project is mainly for the purpose of farmers for connecting rural areas to highways,” he said. The Minister said no toll fee would be collected from the farmers for using the road.
He further added that 16,350 km of roads connect major cities in the country and 26,15,000 km roads are present in rural areas. Besides the green corridor project, there are seven projects including the Golden Quadrilateral, North East West South Corridor taken up by the Centre with an investment of Rs2,87,690 crore and these projects are expected to be completed by 2011. The minister said that the government is also considering 8,737 kms road connectivity in North East India.
Baalu called for a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in increasing the infrastructure of warehouses present in the country and asked the private sector to come forward so that the necessary infrastructure is created.
“The present capacity of 54 million tonnes for food grains is not sufficient as the country is using about 237 million tonnes,” he added.
Governor S.S. Barnala inaugurated the seminar.