"We plan to connect all major 12 ports with direct rail connectivity for which a proposal has been sent to the Railways. The Shipping Ministry also plans to start a roll-on-roll-off service to transport vehicles easily from factories," Gadkari told a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event.

Work is also being done to draft new policies for shipbuilding and ship-breaking industry, he said.     He emphasised that inland waterways have to be developed since it is much more economical compared to road and rail transport and for this, major rivers need to be connected, he said.

The minister said that it is important for the private sector to collaborate with the government to develop infrastructure.

However, he admitted that the private sector is shying away from PPP projects primarily because of high interest rates and reluctance of banks to fund such projects.

Given the current situation, foreign investment can prove to be the best source for low-cost funding, he said.

Speaking about his ministry's new initiatives, he said a special North East Corporation would be set up soon to drive infrastructure creation in the North East region. He also spoke about efforts being made to expedite tunnel projects in Jammu & Kashmir.

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