Speaking at the Economic Times – Global Business Summit, Nitin Gadkari said that the central government is paying special attention to road construction in border states like Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. He informed that in the financial year 2020-2021, the record of constructing 37 km of National Highways per day has been achieved. Now the focus of the government is to increase this target to 50 kms per day.
Gadkari said this week he has signed the file of the 1,000 km National Highway Project. He said that last year the construction faced problems due to the COVID-19 restrictions, but this year the construction will be done at full speed and the target of constructing 50 km of roads per day will also be achieved.
The minister said that this year their target is to bring down the logistics cost. He said that at present the logistics cost in India is 16 percent, in China 12 percent, in the US 112 percent and in the countries of Europe 10 percent. Explain that in the financial year 2022-23, a target has been set to increase the national highway network to 25,000 km.
The country has a road network of 63.71 lakh km as on March 31, 2019, which includes National Highways, State Highways, District Roads, Rural Roads and Urban Roads. India has the second largest road network in the world after the US with a road network of 66.45 lakh km.
The total length of national highways in the country will be 2 lakh km by 2025. India already has a national highway network of more than 1.40 lakh km. National highways and expressways, apart from cutting down on travel time and fuel costs, also help in economic development.
There has been a steady increase in the construction of National Highways/Roads since 2013-14. 10,237 km of roads were constructed till the financial year 2019-20, while 13,327 km of roads were constructed till 2020-21, showing an increase of 30.2 per cent over the previous year. In the current financial year till September last year, 3,824 km of road was constructed.