The Lokmat Infra Conclave was held on September 13th in Mumbai. The meeting was held to provide a common platform for government and industry leaders, to come up with a future roadmap to redefine infrastructure in India. The event was held under the aegis of the Lokmat Knowledge Forum, and was called ´A Roadmap to the Future". Industry stalwarts from various sectors presented their issues, explored challenges, and defined the future roadmap through three panel discussions. The conclave was powered by Topworth, supported by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Government of Maharashtra, and YES Bank was the Knowledge Partner.
On this occasion, the Lokmat YES Bank Infrastructure Report was launched by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari; Vijay Darda, Chairman, Lokmat; Sanjay Palve, Sr Group President-Corporate Finance, YES Bank; Capt BV JK Sharma, JMD & CEO, JSW Infrastructure; Raghav Chandra, IAS, Chairman, NHAI; Jayant Mhaiskar, Vice Chairman & MD, MEP Infrastructure, and Abhay Lodha, Chairman, Topworth.
Highlighting the objective behind this conclave, Darda said, "We at Lokmat are privileged to host this special event and would like to thank Nitin Gadkari, Devendra Fadnavis and other key guests and delegates for making it a success. We have always voiced the opinions and concerns of our readers and today"s Lokmat Infra Conclave is a unique platform to help our readers understand the challenges and concerns regarding infrastructure development in India. Through this conclave, we intend to provide a platform, bringing government and industry leaders together, and come up with the future roadmap along with some rare unique announcements to redefine infrastructure in India."
Delivering the keynote address at the conclave, Gadkari said, "I am really grateful to Lokmat Media for organising an infrastructure conclave. A platform like this helps us connect with the common people and address their concerns.
"India stands second in terms of the road sector. The first revolutionary decision taken by our government was to increase the length of the roads for national highways from 96,000 kilometres to 2 lakh kilometres. With this step, our aim is that most of the traffic will be on national highways. There had been an increase in the number of accidents by 4 per cent when our government took over, and road engineering is one of the main reasons behind the increase in the number of accidents. We are working towards it and in the next five years, we plan to bring down the number of road accidents by 50 per cent."
Gadkari added, "We have also introduced e-governance in our system, which has led to fast approvals, time efficiency, and less dependency. On January 1, 2017, we are starting the construction of the Baroda- Mumbai Expressway worth Rs 12,000 crore, which will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad. We are also starting work on Butibori in Nagpur and the Ratnagiri road, worth Rs 12,000 crore. By 2018, we plan to complete construction of the fourlane Mumbai-Goa road. We are constructing the Alandi-Pandharpur and Dehu-Pandharpur four-lane concrete Palkhi Marg worth Rs 10,000 crore with amenities available for pilgrims. We are also building six new ports in India."
Talking about Maharashtra"s infrastructure, Fadnavis said, "I would like to appreciate the efforts of Lokmat to organise the infra conclave focusing on the infrastructure development in Maharashtra. With the development of roads, highways and ports in India, we have also contributed and ensured progress of around six lakh small villages in the country. The Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway is a milestone, and will take India 20 years ahead. Following the PM"s "Make in India" concept, we will be introducing an Integrated Public Transport ticket along with 1200 Wi-Fi hotspots in the city. Redefining Mumbai city, we will be launching the Safe City project on 2nd October, 2016, with a focus on introducing elevated road corridors over the suburban railway network. The government departments are closely working together for the betterment and positive growth of Maharashtra.
There was a session which took stock of the infrastructure facilities in the state, and the plans for their future. Taking part in this session were Palve from YES Bank, Capt Sharma from JSW Infrastructure, Chandra from NHAI, Mhaiskar from MEP Infrastructure and Lodha from Topworth. This panel was moderated by Tarun Nangia of News World. A session highlighting the importance of port infrastructure in India was held with Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust; RK Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Minister of Shipping; Vinod Behety, President & MD - Corporate Finance, YES Bank; Neeraj Bansal, Deputy Chairman, JNPT and Pravir Pandey, Vice Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India. The panel discussed port connectivity, costal shipping and inland waterways, and was moderated by Prashant Nair of CNBC TV 18.
Sanjay Sethi, CEO, MIDC; Bhushan Gagrani, MD, CIDCO; UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA; Kiran V Kurundkar, JMD, MSRDC; Ashwini Bhide, MD, MMRCL, and Milind Mhaiskar, Secretary, CM, Government of Maharashtra, discussed their views on "Vision Maharashtra" and the steps that can be taken for infrastructural development of the state.