India has one of the largest road & highway networks across the world, spanning over a total of 5.5 million km. This road network transports 64.5 percent of all goods in the country and 90 percent of India’s total passenger traffic uses road network to commute. Road transportation has gradually increased over the years with the improvement in connectivity between cities, towns, and villages in the country. The Indian roads carry almost 90 percent of the country’s passenger traffic. In India, sales of automobiles and movement of freight by roads are growing at a rapid rate.
According to IBEF, the construction of highways reached 9,829 km during FY18 which was constructed at an average of 26.93 km per day. The Government of India has set a target for construction of 10,000 km national highway in FY19. Total length of roads constructed under Prime Minister’s Gram SadakYojana (PMGSY) was 47,447 km in 2017-18. Several national highways and major multi-crore expressway projects are also under progress.
Five of them are discussed below.
The Lucknow-Azamgarh-Ballia- Expressway now renamed as Purvanchal Expressway is an under-construction 6-lane, divided and access-controlled highway, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. The expressway will connect the historic towns of Ballia and Azamgarh with the state capital, Lucknow. It is to be developed by the Uttar Pradesh Expressway Industrial Development and Authority.
It will be about 400 km long expressway and will connect Lucknow to Ballia by passing through 10 districts: Barabanki, Sultanpur, Amethi, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. It will terminate in Ballia. The expressway is to be linked with Varanasi-Gorakhpur highway through a separate link road
The Ganga Expressway
The Ganga Expressway is a proposed greenfield expressway project in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The project was freshly launched on 29 January 2019 by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath. The Uttar Pradesh cabinet met at Prayagraj, the venue of the Kumbh and cleared the decks to construct the Ganga Expressway between Meerut and Prayagraj. It was decided that the 596-km Expressway will be built in Phase-1. The proposed Phase-1 of Ganga Expressway will weave through Meerut-Amroha-Bulandshahr-Budaun-Shahjahanpur-Kannauj-Unnao-Rae Bareli-Pratapgarh and end at MalawanKhurd village on JhusiSahson road in Prayagraj District.
Phase-2 will consist of two sections, one 110 km long section connecting Tigri (near Garhmukteshwar) to Uttar Pradesh Uttrakhand Border near Haridwar and second 314 km connecting Prayagraj to Ballia. Total length of both the phases will come to 1020 km.
The Delhi–Mumbai Expressway
The Delhi–Mumbai Expressway is an under-construction 1,250 km long controlled-access highway connecting the national capital Delhi with India’s commercial capital Mumbai. Foundation stone of the project laid by union ministers Nitin Gadkari, SushmaSwaraj and Arun Jaitley on 8 March 2019. Under construction Mumbai Vadodara Expressway has been subsumed in this project. The total cost of the project is expected to be ₹1 trillion (US$14 billion or €13 billion). It passes through the states of Haryana (80 km), Rajasthan (380 km), Madhya pradesh (120 km), Gujarat (300 km) and Maharashtra (370 km). This under construction expressway will be a 12-lane (6 lanes in each direction) greenfield-alignment route in backward areas, which will reduce the current 24 hours travel time to mere 12 hours. This expressway, along with Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will be a vital backbone of the Delhi–Mumbai Industrial Corridor. After tenders were awarded in December 2018 for the whole highway, it is expected to be completed by 2022.
Mumbai Nagpur Super Communication Expressway
Mumbai Nagpur Super Communication Expressway also known as Maharashtra SamruddhiMahamarg is under construction, 701 km (436 mi) long, 8 lane expressway, connecting the two capitals of Maharashtra Nagpur and Mumbai. The expressway will run through 10 districts, 26 tehsils, and 390 villages in the state and is expected to cut travel time between the two cities to 8 hours. The project is expected to cost Rs 46,000 crores and requires the acquisition of 8,603 hectares of land.
The state government also plans to build 24 townships along the route which will include state-of-the art healthcare facilities, skill management centres, IT parks and educational institutions. A total of 20,820 hectares of land is to be acquired for the project across 10 districts, out of which 8,520 hectares will be used for the highway, while 10,800 hectares would be for building townships. MSRDC will need a loan of Rs 28,000 crore loan from banks for funding the project.
Brahmaputra Express Highway
The first highway project in the northeastern region will be developed along the Brahmaputra river in Assam at an estimated investment of Rs 40,000 crore. Nitin Gadkari made this announcement at the closing ceremony of Namami Brahmaputra Festival.
Brahmaputra Express Highway consists of construction of 890 km of express highway along the entire length of Brahmaputra in the state from Sadiya in the east to Dhubri in the west has been would be started soon by the Assam government. This will develop both banks of the river Brahmaputra and will consequently reduce the problem of erosion caused by the river. Survey for the work has already been started. The silt dug out by the dredging of the river will be utilized for the construction of the road.
According to Invest India, The government plans to invest $ 22.4 bn towards road infrastructure in the North-East region of India during 2018-2020.
The market for roads and highways is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 36.16% during 2016-2025, on account of growing government initiatives to improve transportation infrastructure in the country. Almost half (742) of the 1,531 PPP projects awarded in India until March 2018 were related to roads.
The highways sector in India has been at the forefront of performance and innovation. The government has successfully rolled out over 60 projects worth over $ 10 bn based on the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM). HAM has balanced risk appropriately between private and public partners and boosted PPP activity in the sector.
More projects can be soon expected.