Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari said the total length of the National Highways in the country increased by about 59% in the last nine years. As a result of this expansion, India now has the second-largest road network, after the US.
Addressing a Press Conference in New Delhi today Shri Gadkari said: “Total length of National Highways was 91,287 km in 2013-14, which increased to 1,45,240 km in 2022-23, which is a rise of more than 59% during this period.”
He also said that, in the last nine years, the increase in 4-lane NH rose about two times. In 2013-14, the length of 4 lane NH was 18,371 km which has increased to 44,654 km in the last nine years.
Secretary MoRTH Shri Anurag Jain and NHAI Chairman Shri Santosh Kumar Yadav were also present at the Press Conference.
Shri Gadkari said with the introduction of FASTag, there is a significant jump in toll collection. The minister further informed that the revenues from tolls rose to Rs 41,342 crore in 2022-23 from Rs 4,770 crore in 2013-14. The Government aims to increase the toll revenue to Rs 1,30,000 crore by 2030, Shri Gadkari added.
Shri Gadkari said the waiting time at toll plazas has also reduced as a result of this. “In 2014, the waiting time at the toll plazas was 734 seconds, whereas in 2023 this has reduced to 47 seconds. We are hopeful that we will bring it down to 30 second soon,” he said.
The Minister spoke about the transformative impact of FASTag on travel experiences in India, saying it has revolutionised the concept of toll payments, eliminating the need for cash transactions. This breakthrough has saved approximately Rs 70,000 crore in wasted fuel expenses caused by waiting at the toll plazas, according to research.
Shri Gadkari said special emphasis is being laid on the expansion in the road highway network in the North East region, saying projects worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore are being carried out in the region. He also said 670 roadside facilities are being developed with a view to providing a pleasant experience along the NHs.
The Minister said under the NHAI’s INVIT (Infrastructure Investment Trust) model, a bond issue was launched and garnered a tremendous response. Within the first day of its availability on the Mumbai Stock Exchange, the bond witnessed seven times oversubscription. Shri Nitin Gadkari urged investors to consider investing in NHAI INVIT, which offers an attractive interest rate of 8.05 per cent, surpassing traditional bank rates.
Additionally, he said, the NHAI achieved seven world records, showcasing their commitment to technological advancements and their ambition to position India as the second-largest road network in the world, after the USA.
On the issue of green initiatives, Shri Gadkari said NHAI transplanted more than 68,000 while it planted 3.86 crore trees during the last nine years. Talking about water rejuvenation initiatives, he said the NHAI has developed more than 15,00 Amrit Sarovars along the National Highways across the country.
The Minister pointed out that the Ministry has utilised 30 lakh tons of garbage in road construction for the Delhi Ring Road project, demonstrating a proactive approach towards waste management and sustainable infrastructure development. Furthermore, he highlighted the introduction of bamboo crash barriers, which provide enhanced strength and durability while generating employment opportunities and promoting environmental sustainability.
In line with the Government’s commitment to a sustainable future, Shri Nitin Gadkari unveiled a vision for increased Electric Vehicle adoption over the next five years, promoting clean energy and reducing carbon emissions.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.