With Nitin Gadkari assuming charge of two important portfolios of Shipping and Surface Transport, the citizens and the businessmen from the city are hopeful of many positive changes that will boost the industry and trading from the city. Nagpur Today spoke to some prominent businessmen and office-bearers of business associations in the city, who have expressed their opinions and expectation from Gadkari.
President of Nag Vidarbha Chamber of Commerce (NVCC), Dipen Agrawal said that though LBT & Toll-Booth are state issues, the interests of all the businessmen are definitely affected. The issue was also promised and used as a point for the Lok Sabha Polls. However, what NVCC and its members want is that Nitin Gadkari should fulfill whatever promises he made in his local manifesto at the earliest. The promises start with:
- Creation of separate Vidarbha.
- Early completion of MIHAN project.
- Creation of employment for youths of Vidarbha
- All round development and transformation of Nagpur city into a Global city.
President of Butibori Manufacturers & Owners Association, Pradeep Khandelwal opined that with Nitin Gadkari becoming Cabinet Minister of Surface Transport and Shipping, the dream project Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Golden Quadrilateral of a highway network should now consider and give importance to Nagpur being the centre of India (with Zero Mile of India in Nagpur) and should strive to connect it with all the four metros and other important cities with Nagpur so that trade and business flourishes from this region. Khandelwal added that Gadkari’s dream of making the city as a global city too will soon come to pass. He opined that the excellent roads for surface transport will definitely come through.
However, he also added that Gadkari should intervene and ensure the quick completion of all pending and delayed projects like MIHAN. He also wanted Gadkari to inter-mediate for the city manufacturers and get the power plant, power policy issues sorted out in favour of the manufacturers. He projected a hopeful future of Nagpur and said “Ruki hui projects ko vikas ki gati shighra hi ayegi”.
President of Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) B C Bhartia opined that Gadkari becoming the Cabinet Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping is a turning point for Vidarbha’s future and especially for Nagpur. We can now see the completion of all the backlogs of various development projects. Our wait for making Nagpur into an International city is over. There will be overall development of our city and the state. Huge investments by way of setting up of industries and development of infrastructure will soon be in the offing. This region will see an increase in the per capita income. The floodgates of employment opportunities will be opened soon. Bhartia added that intelligent brains which had gone out in search of employment will be coming back. The Old Golden Days of Nagpur will be back soon.
President of MIDC Industries Association Mayank Shukla said that since Nitin Gadkari has taken charge as the Cabinet Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping, we can hope for a lot of change in this area. He opined that Gadkari is a visionary and has always been looking after the interest of Nagpur. He has also promised overall development of the city so we are very hopeful of the same. Gadkari’s taking charge of two important ministries will see the completion and development of MIHAN, Cargo Hub, Infrastructure development in this area.
Shukla opined that the country has not been able to take full advantage of the Logistic of the location of this area so far. With a visionary like Gadkari, we can soon see a bright future not only for Nagpur but also for the entire country. If the logistics of Nagpur are taken into considerations and investment on Infrastructure development is done in Nagpur, it will be a great help to this area which has been neglected so far.
Former President of Vidarbha Economic Development (VED) Vilas Kale said that we hope, as a Cabinet Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, representing Nagpur, will take up MIHAN as top priority and will work towards removing all the hurdles and enabling the taking-off of the project successfully. Kale also opined that since Gadkari is representing Nagpur in Parliament, he will render his full support to all the projects and in making the dream of Nagpur as an International city by 2020 true.
President of Nagpur Chamber of Commerce Limited (NCCL) Kailash Jogani said that Nitin Gadkari has got the most appropriate ministry. He has got an extensive experience in the ministry too. In the next 5-6 years, roads and infrastructure development which had taken a back seat will see a positive change and development. Highways in Nagpur and other places in the state are in deplorable conditions. Kailash opined that development, maintenance of old roads, new roads where needed will stop the exodus of villagers to the urban areas in search of jobs. He said proper roads to every village and connecting them to cities will develop or improve Agriculture too.
However, he said that National Highways in Nagpur as well as the whole state should definitely be looked after since they are in a bad state, unlike Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. He said that Gadkari should make more flyovers, four-lane roads wherever required. He opined that this will aid in making transport of goods and smooth movement of traffic. This in-turn will bring about a change in the GDP too since most of our goods are moved or transported through the roads only.
By Samuel Gunasekharan