Transport Minister Kamal Nath visualises 2011 as a year full of 'promises' for adding thousands of Kms of Highways, and is inspired by four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet Robert Frost's classic lines ... 'And miles to go before I sleep'.
"I am hopeful that 2011 will be a year full of promises and it will surely add more and more quality and safer kilometers to our national highways network.
For me it's literally miles to go before I sleep," Nath told PTI. Confident that his Ministry would achieve its target of building 20 km of roads a day.
Nath said a sound foundation for this has already been laid and at present 12.5 km a day was being constructed by the Ministry as compared to barely 6 km a year ago.
"The foundation that we have laid in the last year will definitely help us in achieving the long term targets we have set for ourselves.
"The record number of projects awarded so far and the projects in the pipeline to be awarded by the end of the financial year will bring us closer to our targets," he said. During the current fiscal so far awards for 5,800 km have already been made, as compared to last fiscal's 3,300 km and 640 km in 2008-09.
Transport Ministry has set an ambitious target of building 35,000 km of highways network by March 2014 that translates into 20 km a day.
"No doubt there were certain irritants such as delay in clearances etc," Nath said, adding that adequate measures were being taken to expedite projects and bridge the huge infrastructure deficit which the country faces.
Though the country has the second largest road network in the world, only 2 per cent of the 3.3 million road network is under National Highways, which the Ministry is going to enhance, he added.
Last week Nath had said that India aimed at attracting a whopping 30 per cent of the targeted $1 trillion (Rs 45.37 lakh crore) investment towards infrastructure development in the next Five Year Plan ending 2017 from overseas.
He had said that various pension and other overseas funds were looking at India for long-term opportunities as the country was moving on a growth trajectory.
Also, he had said that the country planned to launch a $50-billion infrastructure funds to bridge the deficit in the sector.