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Indian Govt is planning of INR 22 lakh Cr highway expansion to boost trade and reduce costs

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NEW DELHI : The Indian Government is planning on a major infrastructure project with an INR 22 lakh crore investment in a new highway development plan. This ambitious project aims to construct and upgrade a staggering 30,600 kilometres of roads by 2031-32.

The plan prioritises three key areas to transform India’s road network. Nearly half the project focuses on building 18,000 kilometres of high-capacity expressways and high-speed corridors. These corridors will connect major cities and industrial hubs, significantly reducing travel times between key economic centres and fostering faster movement of goods and people. Additionally, around 4,000 kilometres of national highways around major cities will be decongested. This will improve traffic flow for commuters and reduce delays for critical freight movement. The plan also includes the construction of strategic and international border roads to boost connectivity with neighbouring countries and improve national security.

To expedite project completion and share the financial burden, the government is looking to attract private sector investment to cover around 35% of the total project cost, estimated at INR 22 lakh crore. This public-private partnership (PPP) approach will streamline the process and ensure a faster rollout of the new highways.

For efficient execution, the plan is divided into two phases. The initial phase focuses on tendering all projects and completing construction of the initial 30,600 kilometres of roads by 2031-32. The estimated cost for this phase is INR 22 lakh crore. The details and budget for the second phase, which aims to develop an additional 28,400 kilometres, will be determined later.

The government used data from the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to identify key trade routes and freight movement patterns. This data-driven approach ensures the new highways cater to the most critical transportation needs of the nation. Once completed, the new highways are expected to significantly improve efficiency in the transportation sector.

Average travel speeds for trucks on the national highway network are expected to nearly double from the current 47 kmph to 85 kmph. This translates to quicker delivery of goods and reduced transportation costs for businesses. Faster and more efficient transportation will also help India achieve its target of reducing logistics costs to 9-10% of GDP. This will benefit businesses and consumers alike by lowering the cost of goods.

The high-speed corridors, stretching over 18,000 kilometres, will connect major economic centres, boosting trade and economic activity across the country. By 2026-27, the length of operational high-speed corridors is expected to triple from the current 3,900 kilometres to around 11,000 kilometres. This improved connectivity will create new trade opportunities and stimulate economic growth. Prop news time will continue to follow this story and provide updates on the progress of this ambitious INR 22 lakh crore highway development plan.

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