India is building a record 37-kms of highway every day: Nitin Gadkari
Despite a number of delays and stalled projects, India has achieved significant improvement as far as laying new roads are concerned. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said India’s highway building has achieved a new feat, constructing a record 37 kms every day.
"Tremendous progress has been achieved in building of national highways across the country..
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We have achieved a road building pace of 37 km of highways a day," Gadkari was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Gadkari termed the achievements as 'unprecedented and have no parallel in any other country in the world'. He reminded that despite key challenges like the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the National Highways Authority of India has managed to increase length of highways in India by around 50 per cent.
The speed at which India is adding highways can be highlighted by a recent feat achieved by the National Highways Authority of India. The NHAI created a world record by building a four-lane highway of 2,580 metres length within 24 hours. NHAI contractor Patel Infrastructure achieved the record by laying the highest quantity of concrete on a part of the greenfield Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai 8-lane Expressway project. The feat was recognised by the India Book of Records and the Golden Book of World Records.
Under Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, India has added more than 50 per cent length of national highways in the past seven years. As on March 20, 2021, India has built 1,37,625 kms of highways compared to only 91,287 kms in April 2014. During this period, India has also spent five times more money to construct highways, up from a mere ₹33,414 crore in the financial year 2015.
Gadkari said that under his watch the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways has been able to unlock several stalled projects. According to the minister, the ministry has been able to take initiatives to resolve the deadlocks and accelerate the pace of highway building, including termination of projects worth ₹40,000 crore, resulted in fast-tracking of the road building. He said that there were 406 stalled projects involving investment of ₹3.85 lakh crore when he took charge in 2014.
The government plans to build around 34,800 km of highways at a cost of about ₹5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojna. "In five years, I can give guarantee that India's infrastructure will change... It will be no less than the US or European countries... A new India is emerging," Gadkari was quoted as saying.
India is currently building a network of green expressway corridors, including the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. There is also significant progress in construction of the Zojilla tunnel which aims to provide all-weather connectivity to people in Ladakh. Gadkari also said that the 30-km Dwarka Expressway will be an engineering marvel that will resemble a Singapore-like place on Delhi's borders.
(With inputs from agencies)