Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways urged India’s construction sector to invest in research and to cut India’s net carbon emissions to zero by switching to Hydrogen fuel instead of fossil fuel. These decisions could make India’s construction sector the largest in the world, he said. 

The Union Minister was speaking at the inauguration of EXCON, a construction equipment trade fair conducted in Bengaluru. “India’s construction sector currently is the world’s third-largest. By fostering collaborative endeavors among stakeholders and corporations, and through substantial government support, we have the potential to propel it to the top spot within the next five years,” he said. 

He further emphasised the construction sector’s significant contribution to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a carbon-neutral economy. “Construction and mining operations consume 400 crore liters of diesel, which is quite detrimental to the environment and the economy. By embracing alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, and hydrogen, the construction and mining sectors can effectively reduce emissions”, Gadkari noted.

Job creation

The Road Transport minister also said that the construction industry alone has created 30 lakh job opportunities thus far. Highlighting that the current import of fossil fuels is ₹16 lakh crore, Gadkari spoke about making Indian construction companies the best in the world within the next five years. He spoke about business prospects for the construction industry within the state, with significant opportunities arising from several infrastructure development initiatives. These projects may be building roads, flyovers, industrial infrastructure, and power.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said, “Currently, India’s construction equipment industry is exporting to over 140 countries. To enhance sustainability and efficiency, private players in the construction sector should focus on automation, the adoption of advanced technologies, global best practices, the use of alternative fuels, and innovations in utilizing waste materials as raw materials for construction projects. This approach can reduce both the cost of construction and the rate of pollution.”

The event accommodated over 1,000 exhibitors, with over 100 from 15 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and the UK. EXCON 2023 will showcase the latest strides in artificial intelligence, IoT, and automation, sustainable power solutions, and exhibits of electric and hybrid machinery tailored for low emissions and optimal energy efficiency.

With inputs from BL Intern Sanjana B

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