India's Biggest Ever Highway Development Plan Worth Rs 7 Lakh Crore Approved

| October 24 , 2017 , 13:25 IST

In good news for the nation, the Cabinet on Tuesday approved a Rs 6.9 lakh crore project touted to be India's biggest ever highway development plan, to develop and expand around 83,000 km of roads by 2022. The plan includes the construction of the new 28,400 km Bharatmala highway which would connect border areas of the country.

The highway development plan serves multiple benefits, the construction will generate plenty of jobs, the finished roads will improve the speed of traffic across key corridors of the nation reducing travel times for casual and cargo vehicles, and connectivity with far areas of the nation will also be improved, making development easier. Under the programme, traffic flow will be improved on key corridors with the construction of uniform four-lane roads between two specified points.

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Currently, due to the poor road conditions, narrow widths of the road and congestion points in India, a truck is able to average a distance of only 250-300 km daily, while in developed countries, trucks are able to cover 700-800 km per day.

"The new highway development programme is both building roads and improving mobility to reduce logistic cost. Better road network and rolling out of smart-tag based tolling will transform the road transport sector," said an official.

The Public Investment Board (PIB) had initially cleared the proposal and its funding pattern in June 2017, according to which more than 70 percent of the project will be funded by the government.

Detailed project reports (DPRS) have already been prepared by the National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) for 10,000 kms of the identified network which will help in the faster roll-out of the development plan.