New Delhi–Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said the India of 21st century, as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is being built on the national highways which has taken the country to a faster lane of development.

He said while achieving 100 per cent perfection is an impossible task in any field as there is always room for improvement, highway construction is moving towards that direction by reducing the cost and improving the quality of construction through the adoption of modern technology and simplification of systems.

Gadkari was speaking at the presentation ceremony of the “National Highways Awards for Excellence” which recognised innovations in highway construction and design among other aspects of road construction.

Speaking at the event, Gadkari said while the building of national highways has picked up pace, there are still a couple of things he is unhappy with as they need improvement.

“First thing is collection of tolls should be completely automated so that people don’t have to stop at toll booths to pay. The second is to create a system where people have to pay toll charges on the basis of the stretch of the road that they traverse instead of paying for the whole stretch,” he said.

Gadkari lauded the intention behind the award function and said: “We always pull up contractors and impose penalties on them for any mistake, but we should also recongnise good work being done by them.”

“I have always believed that if mistakes are bona fide, we should forgive. But if they are mala fide, we should sack them.”

He added that recognising good work of some contractors would encourage others also to improve their performance.

“I have always said that performance audit is much more important than financial audit for bringing qualitative reforms,” he said. (IANS)