Vellore: Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari regretted that he could not resolve the vexatious Cauvery river water sharing issue between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, when he held the water resources portfolio. He also slammed the states for depicting shortage of water when in reality water flowed waste into the sea.
“Water from Godavari empties into the sea. There's no shortage of water. I don't know why States are making an issue,” Gadkari said. Delivering the 34th convocation address at the Vellore institute of Technology (VIT) here on Saturday, he said on the Cauvery issue, “though I had initiated several projects across the country and made efforts to resolve it (Cauvery issue), unfortunately I couldn't succeed in the mission.”
“It needs strong political will to resolve the issue. I hope one day Tamil Nadu will solve the issue of water problem,” Gadkari emphasised. Referring to the water crisis in Chennai and other parts in the state, he said Tamil Nadu's long coastline from Chennai to Tuticorin offers potential for establishing desalination plants.
The state government could think of setting up as many plants that may be required to meet the drinking water requirement of the people. Recalling his earlier experiences in constructing road infrastructure projects through capital funds, he said that the government could think of initiating the projects with private participation. Even institutes like VIT could play a role in this regard, he added.
Calling upon the students to be innovative in approach and come out with out of the box thinking, to solve the problems afflicting the nation. The agriculture, tribal and rural areas in the country for instance, lack employment potential and these are the areas where the students could concentrate upon. “Innovation and research can make the country strong in agriculture and rural sectors. Also, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is talking of New India and this is possible when the young minds develop a vision. So far you have been in the academics. Now you are stepping into the society. Whether you seek jobs in the government or private sector, aim to be a job provider,”. Gadkari said.
He exuded confidence that the strong leadership being provided by Mr. Modi will make India a super power.
On the Mumbai-Delhi highway, he said the realignment had reduced the cost of the project and also cut down th distance to 240 km. “The realignment has saved the government `16,000 crore for land acquisition. The project will now be completed in three years' time,” Mr Gadkari said. Steps to promote biofuels: Gadkari said his ministry has taken several measures to promote biofuels like ethanol and butanol which are not only feasible but also desirable for the nation as it will also help reduce the emissions.
“Annually, we spend around Rs 7 lakh crore on oil imports. If we have alternate bio-fuels like ethanol and butanol which can be used in cars and aircraft, why should we not explore those options. They are not just cheap but also pollution-free,” Gadkari said and added that using bio-fuels could reduce crude oil imports which will help save foreign exchange on one hand also achieve the USD 5-trillion GDP goal by 2025.
VIT Chancellor G. Viswanathan presided over the convocation and distributed the degree certificates to about 6,768 candidates including 247 who have completed their Ph.D...