Nitin Gadkari becomes longest-serving minister in same ministry under PM Modi

Nicknamed 'Roadkari' and 'Flyover Man' or the 'Highway Man of India', Gadkari is credited with having transformed the road network in the country.
BJP MP Nitin Gadkari takes oath as minister during the swearing-in ceremony of new Union government, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
BJP MP Nitin Gadkari takes oath as minister during the swearing-in ceremony of new Union government, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.(Express Photo | Shekhar Yadav)

Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari will be at the helm of his ministry for a record third straight term.

Gadkari, who assumed charge of the ministry in 2014, was allocated the same department on Monday again. With the development, he becomes the longest-serving cabinet minister under Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- that too serving in the same ministry.

Nicknamed 'Roadkari' and 'Flyover Man' or the 'Highway Man of India', Gadkari is credited with having transformed the road network in the country. With him in office, the national highway (NH) network has increased by 60 percent from 91,287 km in 2014 to 1.46 km till December 2023.

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Under Gadkari's leadership, the length of highways having four lanes or more has increased by 2.5 times from 18,387 km to 46,179 km in the last 10 years.

BJP MP Nitin Gadkari takes oath as minister during the swearing-in ceremony of new Union government, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
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Twenty-two world class access-controlled Greenfield expressway projects led by Gadkari under the Bharatmala pariyojana phase 1 are presently in various stages of construction.

The Bharatmala Pariyojana was launched with the primary focus on optimizing the efficiency of the movement of goods and people across the country. The key components of the Pariyojana are Economic Corridors development, Inter-corridor and feeder routes development, National Corridors Efficiency Improvement, Border, and International Connectivity Roads, Coastal and Port Connectivity Roads and Expressways.

Under the first phase, a total length of 34,800 km in 31 states and union territories (UTs) in more than 550 districts is entailed. As per the ministry’s data, the length awarded till December 31 is 27,384 km and the length constructed is 15,045 km. The phase 1 is to be completed by 2028.

Last year, the ministry launched the country's first car crash safety ratings - -Bharat New Car Assessment Programme. The ministry is also working on improving the toll collection system to minimise inconvenience to the highway users.

To provide seamless and barrier-free tolling experience and enhance efficiency and transparency of toll operations, Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL), a company promoted by (National Highways Authority of India) NHAI under the ministry has already invited Global Expression of Interest (EOI) from innovative and qualified companies to develop and implement Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) based Electronic Toll Collection system.

As part of his mega plan for creating world class infrastructure, Gadkari's focus has also been on improving roadside amenities. Under his supervision, the country has got big ticket infra products such as Bandra-Worli Sea Link, India‘s First Mumbai-Pune Expressway, 14-lane Delhi-Meerut Expressway, and Nagpur’s multi-layer metro rail cum flyover system.

Gadkari made his Lok Sabha poll debut from Nagpur in 2014 and became a minister at the Centre. Besides road transport and highways, he has served in several other departments such as micro, small and medium enterprises, shipping, water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, rural development and panchayati raj.

BJP MP Nitin Gadkari takes oath as minister during the swearing-in ceremony of new Union government, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
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