In a bid to further speed up the process of national highway construction, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during the Union Budget 2021 presentation that projects for 8,500 kilometres of highways will be awarded by March of 2022. Highlighting that the need is to improve road infrastructure, she also especially highlighted amounts set aside for states like West Bengal, Assam and Kerala.
Sitharaman announced that highway projects worth ₹65,000 crore will be undertaken in Kerala, worth 25,000 crore in West Bengal and ₹3,400 for road projects in Assam. Furthermore, the Finance Minister announced a ₹18,000-crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas.
Last month, Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari had said his ministry aims at taking road building target to 40 km a day by March. He added that the NHAI has a target to build 60,000 km of highways in the next five years, including 2,500 km of express highways.
These include 9,000 km of economic corridors and 2,000 km each of strategic border roads and coastal roads. Besides these, 100 tourist destinations and 45 towns would be connected through highways.