The Government of India has announced that it plans to launch a new infrastructure project that would improve the country's connectivity. The plan includes upgrading the existing road network as well as building new roads to connect hinterland India.Road secretary, Vijay Chibber said that the Government has already begun preparing detailed project reports.
As per the plan, the Government will create a vast network of high-quality highways that would help speed up goods transport as well as passenger vehicle movement. The project also aims to achieve other goals such as lowering offuel consumption and reducing air pollution.
The Government has also identified 123 district headquarters that are not connected to the National Highway network. This will be addressed under the National Highway Development Programme.There are plans to also connect underdeveloped areas in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan to the National Highway. The 2,000km project would provide connectivity to these remote areas.The Government also plans to improve connectivity to places of devotional importance, under this project.
A sum of Rs 42,913 crore is said to be allocated to this cause in the 2016 budget. Though this may not be enough, the Government says that it is confident it can lure private investors through its hybrid annuity model. The mode requires the private firm to bear 60 per cent of the cost while the remainder will be borne by the National Highways Authority Of India (NHAI)
In case the revenues do not add up to the expected sum, the Government would bear the risk in the project. By 2016-2017, the Government plans to build highways at a rate of 30km per day, up from the current 11km per day.