NHAI aims to add 60-km of highways every day in 2023: Nitin Gadkari
India is likely to add 60 kms of new highways every day from next year. Nitin Gadkari, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will scale up its construction spree soon to achieve the target. The NHAI aims to construct at least 12,000 kms of new highways in the ongoing financial year. Some of the major pending construction work includes the unfinished Delhi-Mumbai Expressway which promises to reduce travel time between the two major metros to just around 12 hours.
Emphasising that good road infrastructure not only leads to prosperity but employment as well, Nitin Gadkari said his ministry aims to construct 60 kms of highways every day. On Tuesday, Gadkari said, "We are constructing 40 kms of highways per day, our target is to construct 60 kms of highways per day."
Under Gadkari's tenure, NHAI has been on a construction spree of new national highways and expressways in the past few years. Since April 2019, the NHAI has constructed more than 30,000 kms of highways across the country, including major expressways like the one that connects Delhi with Meerut, or Lucknow with Ghazipur in UP.
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Between April 2020 and March 2021, NHAI had achieved a record of 37 kms of highway construction per day. The pace dropped to 28.64 kilometres a day in the previous financial year due to delays caused by Covid-19 pandemic as well as a long monsoon season in some parts of the country. The target for NHAI in the current financial year is to complete 12,000 kms by the end of MArch next year. Between 2019 and 2020, NHAI had constructed 10,237 kms of highway. It went up to 13,327 kms in the next year but fell to 10,457 kms in the previous year.
Gadkari said that the NHAI is also raising money to construct new highways. There are 26 upcoming green expressways expected to be completed soon. NHAI also earns revenue, around ₹40,000 crore per annum, through toll collections at national highways and expressways. It is expected to go up to ₹1.40 lakh crore by the end of 2024.