Nagpur: Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways said that despite a number of delays and stalled projects, India has achieved significant improvement as far as laying new roads are concerned. India’s highway building has achieved a new feat, constructing a record 37 kms every day, the Minister said while talking to a news agency.
He stated that tremendous progress has been achieved in building of national highways across the country… India has achieved a road building pace of 37 km of highways a day. Terming the achievements as ‘unprecedented and have no parallel in any other country in the world,’ the Union Minister reminded that despite key challenges like the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has managed to increase length of highways in the country by around 50 per cent.
“The speed at which India is adding highways can be highlighted by a recent feat achieved by the NHAI. The NHAI created a world record by building a four-lane highway of 2,580 metres length within 24 hours. By laying the highest quantity of concrete on a part of the greenfield Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai 8-lane Expressway project, India entered the Book of Records and the Golden Book of World Records.
As on March 20, 2021, India has built 1,37,625 kms of highways compared to only 91,287 kms in April 2014. During this period, India has also spent five times more money to construct highways, up from a mere Rs 33,414 crore in the financial year 2015. Gadkari said that under his watch the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways has been able to unlock several stalled projects. According to the minister, the ministry has been able to take initiatives to resolve the deadlocks and accelerate the pace of highway building, including termination of projects worth Rs 40,000 crore, resulted in fast-tracking of the road building. He said that there were 406 stalled projects involving investment of Rs 3.85 lakh crore when he took charge in 2014.
The government plans to build around 34,800 km of highways at a cost of about Rs 5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojna. “In five years, I can give guarantee that India’s infrastructure will change… It will be no less than the US or European countries… A new India is emerging,” Gadkari declared.