National Highways are the backbone of the road infrastructure that connects every major city of India whether ports, capital of states, etc. It consists of two, four, or more lanes built with charcoal and a few with cement concrete.
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The road transport and highways ministry aim to construct a record 18,000 km of highways in 2022-23 at a pace of 50 km per day, said, minister Nitin Gadkari. The FY23 target is 33 percent higher than that last fiscal.
The target is ambitious as the ministry in 2021-22 set a 40-km per day construction goal, but later revised it to 32 km per day at 12000 km for the full fiscal.
Sandwiched between two waves of Covid-19 and monsoon rains, the government, through its implementing agencies, reportedly constructed 10,457 km of national highways in 2021-22, which was a 24 percent decrease from the previous fiscal.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) are primarily responsible for the construction of national highways and expressways across the country.
Gadkari also said that the 1400-km Delhi-Mumbai expressway has already seen 60 percent completion, and will be completed 90 percent by December. In the Budget session of the Parliament, the minister had said that four key highways, including Delhi-Mumbai, will be fully completed by December.
The expressway, which experts believe can be a game-changer for logistics, is being built at a cost of Rs 1 trillion.
The road transport and highways minister emphasized that constructing world-class road infrastructure in a time-bound and target-oriented way is essential.