DELHI: The union government on Tuesday, October 24, announced an outlay of Rs6.92 trillion for building an 83,677 km road network over the next five years.
The largest ever outlay for road construction comes in the backdrop of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government implementing the goods and services tax (GST) which aims to create a common market by dismantling inter-state tariff barriers, reports Mint.
A robust road infrastructure will help in that direction.
“In order to further optimise the efficiency of movement of goods and people across the country, government is launching a new umbrella program,” the government said in a statement.
The road construction push includes the Bharatmala Pariyojana with a Rs5.35 trillion investment to construct 34,800km of roads. In addition, Rs1.57 trillion will be spent on the construction of 48,877km of roads by the state-run National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the ministry of road transport and highways.
“The huge spending on infrastructure announced today will give a fillip to private sector investment,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a press conference.
To expedite the Bharatmala projects, apart from ministry of road transport and highways and state-run firms—NHAI and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL)—even respective state public works departments (PWDs) will be roped in for timely execution. This in turn will generate 142 million man-days of jobs, the government said.
“Measures today will boost infra spending in a big way,” Jaitley added.
To give a boost to the ambitious plan, all future road projects such as economic corridors and coastal roads have been brought under its aegis.
The other projects under the marquee scheme include roads providing international connectivity, border roads, roads connecting economically important nodes, green field expressways and the remaining National Highways Development Project (NHDP) works under the scheme launched in 1998 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.