Highway construction gains pace, 8,045 km constructed till Feb-end

Current pace works out to 24.08 km a day, compared with the targeted 40 km/day, or 14,600 km for the full year


Highway construction | National Highway | Nitin Gadkari

Dhruvaksh Saha  | 
New Delhi 

After having dropped to a five-year low in December, the pace of national highway construction increased from 20.17 kilometres (km) a day to 24.08 km.

Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply today that the ministry, through its implementing agencies, has constructed 8,045 km of national highways till February.

Prior to the release of this data, analysts had predicted the ministry to achieve 10,000-11,000 km of highway construction this year.

The ministry had initially targeted an annual construction rate of 40 km/day, or 14,600 km for the full year. This target was later revised to 12,000 kms. In comparison, the previous two financial years had seen the construction of 13,327 km and 10,237 km respectively.

Sector experts believe that highway construction faced various challenges this fiscal year, owing to two waves of COVID-19, which saw several localised restrictions, and extended monsoons which had an adverse impact on construction activity.

Gadkari, in his reply, added that the ministry plans to construct almost 29,000 km of national highways over the next two fiscal years.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) are the main agencies responsible for execution of the Centre’s highway projects.

National highways in India have a total length of 1,40,995 km. The government intends to expand the national highways network in the country by 25,000 km in 2022-23, which includes both construction of national highways and conversion of state highways into national ones.

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