Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari said that the partnership of India and UK dates to many years and have a glorious history of working together on economy and infrastructure. Taking lessons from history, this is time for us to act upon delivering a sustainable infrastructure without compromising on the values of ecology and environment, he added.
Addressing the virtual session ‘India and the UK – Partners for Growth: Unlocking Sustainable and Climate-resilient Infrastructure Opportunities’, organized by FICCI, Gadkari said that as per the Paris Climate Agreement, the government of India is committed in reducing its carbon emissions by 30-35 percent by 2030. The UK is also committed to reduce its carbon emission to net zero by 2050, he added.
Gadkari further said that as far as India is concerned, we have limited resources, huge low-middle income population, demographic and cultural diversity but we also have a strong resolve for working towards a clean and green future. “I strongly believe that societies must be liveable, workable and sustainable. India has a surplus of solar energy potential that we can use for electricity generation. This is the time for us to act upon delivering a sustainable infrastructure without compromising on the values of ecology and environmental,” he emphasized.
Gadkari stated that the India-UK partnership on climate action can deliver substantial progress towards reducing emissions and helping towards resilient infrastructure globally.
India-UK, he said are exploring how to develop technology and the investment needed for adoption of alternate and green energy sources. “It is important to share experiences, collaborate on research and development and catalyse the private sector to invest in renewable energy,” said Mr Gadkari.
India is taking several steps to achieve the national determined contribution targets for increasing renewable energy share through its ambitious target of achieving 450 MW renewable energy capacity by 2030. “One of the largest such expansion plans in the world is already underway,” he informed.
Gadkari also said that UK is the world leader in intelligent transportation system, AI, GIS and GPS based tools and infrared surveillance systems. This can be used in India’s largest road network can be facilitated with these advanced technologies for effective traffic movement and road asset management. “We aim to learn success stories of each other to enhance our mutual knowledge as two great nations,” he noted.
He further stated that currently we are constructing highways at the rate of 33 kms per day which might be a world record. “My aim is to construct over 60,000 kms of highway in the next 5 years at the rate of more than 40 kms per day,” he added. The government is also developing 22 greenfield expressways along with access control corridors as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojna at a cost of Rs 3.32 lakh crore and these corridors will be completed before 2025.
The government, he said is developing 35 multimodal logistic parks with cold storage facilities and it will help in reducing logistic time and decongestion of our cities.
Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency and Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) said that India has taken several successful steps towards climate change. Like the UK, India has shown its adaptation plans are at the heart of its approach to climate change. “Adaptation is the key focus of the India-UK partnership. Our common commitment to tackling climate change and the friendship between the two nations makes us ideal partners in finding solutions,” she added.
She emphasized that it is critical that we all devise comprehensive policy framework to develop climate resilient infrastructure. This will significantly reduce socio-economic vulnerability to natural disasters by anticipating, preparing for, and adapting to climate change conditions.
HE Mr Alex Ellis, The British High Commissioner to India said that one of the things which India has been a champion on is climate resilient infrastructure in its neighbourhoods. “That is what UK also supports and will continue to support,” he added.
He further said that India’s scale and opportunities and the UK’s knowledge and expertise are a good combination.
Mr Kolluru Krishan, Chairman, FICCI Climate Change Committee and Chairman, CVC Infrastructure Pvt Ltd said that when we talk of climate in resilient infrastructure and adaptation, the two sectors which are very important include transportation and the impact it has on MSMEs.