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Nhai To Build Highways To Enhance Connectivity
Highways make a crucial contribution to economic development & growth. They bring important social benefits like providing access to employment, social, health and education services make a road network crucial in fighting against poverty. Highways open up more areas and encourage economic and social development. For these reasons, highways infrastructure is the most important of all public assets.
An efficient highway transport is a pre-requisite for the sustained economic development. National Highways are an integral part of the transport system. In order to maximize economic and social benefits, country’s highway network should be efficient. They play a significant role in achieving national development and contributing to the overall performance and social functioning of the community.
In India, only 2% of Indian road network comes under National Highways but it carries 40% of the automobile traffics. It signifies the importance of National Highways in the Indian economy. The number of National highways has gradually increased over the years with the improvement in connectivity between cities, towns, and villages in the country.
In the financial year, 2018 agencies under National Highways Authority of India hit the record of 10,000 km stretched highway construction. The total investment in constructing national highways by both the government and private investors was about Rs 1.5 lakh crore, of which almost Rs 1 lakh crore came from budgetary allocation, turnover of toll collections and borrowings by the National Highways Authority of India.
The government, through a series of initiatives, is working on policies to attract significant investor interest. The Indian government plans to develop a total of 66,117 km of roads under different programmes such as National Highways Development Project (NHDP), Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North East (SARDP-NE) and Left Wing Extremism (LWE). To improve the connectivity between ports and remote villages, the government has identified the development of 2,000 km of coastal roads.
As a part of long-term goal of doubling the length of the national highway network to 200,000 km, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to build 50,000 km of roads worth US$ 250 billion by 2022. Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the Government of India will spend around Rs 1 lakh crore (US$ 15.26 billion) during FY 18-20 to build roads in the country. For the construction of new roads and highways over the next five years, the Government of India has decided to invest Rs 7 trillion (US$ 107.82 billion).
NHAI is now dedicated to providing a pleasing experience to the regular highway commuters. To address the issues that affect the highway commuters NHAI has introduced electronic toll collection / FASTag, FASTag lanes in the toll plaza to void the queue, checks the cleanliness at toll plazas, behaviour of the toll plaza staff, wayside amenities, functioning of Highway Nest (Mini), and availability of ambulance and cranes in case of an emergency on the highway. Accordingly, a massive drive was launched on more than 300 toll plazas simultaneously across the country by the Highway Operation Division.
Referral links: https://www.ibef.org/industry/roads-india.aspx
For more information: http://www.nhai.gov.in/
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