High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Milinda Moragoda paid a farewell call on Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India Shri Nitin Gadkari on 24 August in New Delhi.
At the outset, High Commissioner Moragoda thanked the Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister for the cooperation that the latter extended to him during his tenure in New Delhi.
He also apprised the Minister of the references to connectivity, particularly those that are on road connectivity, in the Indo-Lanka joint document “Promoting Connectivity, Catalysing Prosperity: India-Sri Lanka Economic Partnership Vision”, which was issued following bilateral talks between the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India in July. The High Commissioner and the Minister discussed ways and means through which the connectivity goals stipulated in the joint Vision document could be materialized.
The discussion also focussed on the cooperation in promoting alternatives to fossil fuels such as electricity and bio-fuels in the transport sector. These alternatives were seen as highly cost-effective and environment friendly, suitable to a country like Sri Lanka. The Minister spoke on the Indian experience in alternative fuels and expressed his willingness to share the relevant expertise with Sri Lanka.
High Commissioner Moragoda invited Minister Gadkari to visit Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient time, which the Minister accepted.
High Commissioner Moragoda also presented to Minister Gadkari a stone obtained from the stream flowing besides the Seetha Amman Temple in Seetha Eliya (Ashoka Vatika) in Sri Lanka, which is believed to be the site where Seetha was held captive according to the Ramayana.
Hailing from the State of Maharashtra, Shri Nitin Gadkari is the longest serving Minister for Road Transport and Highways of India currently running his tenure for over eight years since 2014. He also served as the President of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) from 2009 to 2013. Previously, he has held the ministerial portfolios of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises; Shipping; Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation; and Rural Development & Panchayati Raj. He has authored several books as well.