Presenting the Union Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that government has allotted Rs 1.7 Lakh Crore for development of Transport Infrastructure in India. She also announced that the focus of the government is to expedite highway and expressway development projects. The much talked about new Delhi-Mumbai 1200 km highway corridor will be built by 2023.
Last year, while presenting the Interim Budget, Piyush Goyal said that India is the fastest developer of highways in the world, constructing highways at a speed of 27 kilometers per day. Goyal also said that along with the focus on the highways, government is also focusing on building rural roads and has allocated Rs 19000 Crore for building rural roads for FY 2020.
Union Minister of Road Transportation, Highways and Shipping earlier said that major policy initiatives, coupled with expeditious land acquisition resulted in highest ever award of 51,073 km of highways and construction of 28,531 km over the last four years. Gadkari is confident to take the road building pace to 40 km a day by the next year from 28 km a day.
"We have achieved the highest ever award of 51,073 km of National Highway projects and highest ever construction of 28,531 km over a four-year period from 2014-15 to 2017-18. Construction of National Highways has more than doubled to 28 km a day and the total investment in the sector has increased by 2.5 times...Bhoomi Rashi portal will further boost it," said Gadkari.
Bhoomi Rashi, the portal developed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and NIC, contains the entire revenue data of the country, right down to 6.4 lakh villages and makes the entire process flow, from submission of draft notification by the state government to its approval by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways and publication in e-Gazette online, expediting the process of publication of notifications for land acquisition.
He said the government was building new expressways on greenfield alignments resulting in not only lesser cost on land acquisition but development of backward areas. Citing the example of greenfield Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai expressway, he said the new alignment has saved Rs 16,500 crore on land acquisition and distance will be less by 120 km. Had it been the expansion of existing Delhi-Mumbai highway, the land acquisition could have cost Rs 7.5 crore per hectare, he said.
The minister said under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I, a total of 34,800 kms including the balanced road works under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) are to be completed by 2021-22. To achieve this ambitious target, the ministry has been continuously working on further improving internal processes through various digital initiatives to reduce cost and time of construction, he said.
With Inputs from PTI