Highways Construction

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, responsible for developing and maintaining National Highways (NHs), reports a significant expansion in the country’s highway network. In March 2014, the total length of highways stood at approximately 91,287 km, and by November 2023, it has grown to approximately 146,145 km.

The Ministry’s primary focus has been on enhancing High-Speed Access Controlled Corridors and expanding the four-lane road network to boost the economy through improved logistics efficiency. The length of the four-lane and NH network, including High-Speed Corridors, has increased from around 18,371 km in March 2014 to about 46,179 km. The Ministry has initiated 21 greenfield access-controlled corridor projects, including expressways, with approximately 3,336 km already completed.

Furthermore, the Ministry has emphasized the conversion of less than two-lane NHs into at least two-lane or two-lane with paved shoulders. As a result, the length of such subpar NHs has reduced from about 27,517 km in March 2014 to approximately 14,870 km.

Indian Highways

As part of the effort to enhance logistics efficiency, the Ministry has identified 35 Multimodal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) for development, with 15 prioritized under BMP-I.

Over the past nine years, the Ministry has made substantial capital expenditures, increasing from about Rs 51,000 crore in 2013-14 to over Rs 2,40,000 crore in 2022-23. This investment has contributed to the country’s economic growth and its progress towards achieving a five-trillion-dollar economy.

Additionally, the highway ministry has undertaken environmentally friendly initiatives such as planting around 3.46 crore trees since 2016, utilizing municipal waste for embankment construction, waste plastics in bituminous construction, and waste slag in cement concrete construction, promoting carbon neutrality and sustainable development.

To achieve these remarkable growth and achievements in the NH network, the Ministry has employed several key strategies:

  1. Resolving stalled projects inherited before 2013-14 through close monitoring and policy interventions.
  2. Promoting a conducive ecosystem for contractors by streamlining projects and contract documents.
  3. Mandating project planning, including the preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR), through the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan (NMP) Portal.
  4. Awarding projects only after thorough preparation, including land acquisition and preconstruction activities.
  5. Simplifying the approval process for General Arrangement Drawings (GAD) by Railways.
  6. Streamlining the land acquisition process.
  7. Embracing new technologies and continuously improving standards and specifications.
  8. Exploring innovative financing models to secure resources.
  9. Providing relaxations in contract provisions under “Atmanirbhar Bharat” to enhance liquidity.
  10. Overhauling the dispute resolution mechanism.
  11. Implementing a portal-based project monitoring system for early issue resolution.
  12. Conducting periodic project reviews at various levels.

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