Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the Centre aims to hit 2-lakh kms of national highways by 2025.
India already has a National Highways network of more than 1.40 lakh kilometres. President Ram Nath Kovind said this during his speech while addressing a joint session of Parliament on the first day of Budget session today.
Union Budget will be presented tomorrow, February 2, which will further outlay the government’s plans to increase and improve road infrastructure in coming days.
President Kovind, during his address today, also said that India’s longest expressway linking Delhi to Mumbai to be completed soon.
Earlier, Nitin Gadkari had revealed that his ministry aims to increase the national highway network further. On Sunday, he said, “Government is working towards the development of a national highway network of 2 lakh kilometres by 2025. We are developing 22 greenfield access control expressways to reduce travel time.”
“Apart from cutting down travel time and fuel cost, fast track highways also helps in the economic development of the region. Our priority is to bring down the cost of logistics to 10 per cent from the current 14-16 per cent of GDP. It is 8-10 per cent in China and 12 per cent in European countries. If we bring this down to 10-12 per cent in India, we can compete well in the international market,” Gadkari added.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is the agency responsible for construction and maintenance of national highways in India, has been able to increase construction even during the lockdown phases of Covid-19 since March 2020. During these phases, the agency also achieved some record feats. Last year, NHAI completed development of a 25.54 km single lane stretch of road in just 18 hours, creating a world record. The stretch that made it to the record books is situated on the four-lane highway between Vijaypur and Solapur on the NH-52.
NHAI had created another world record in February last year for laying the highest quantity of concrete on a four-lane highway within one day. The feat was achieved by the contractor Patel Infrastructure and entered the India Book of Records and Golden Book of World Records.