New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) - The government has set a target of constructing 15,000-km of national highways during the current fiscal, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan said. Of this, 2,269 km roads have already been completed by June 30, the Minister added.
According to the data shared by him, 8,231 km national highways were constructed in 2016-17 at the rate of over 22 km per day. "To expedite completion of these projects, various steps are taken, including streamlining of land acquisition and environment clearances, exit for equity investors, close coordination with other ministries, revamping of dispute resolution mechanism and frequent reviews at various levels," he said.
The minister also said that "in-principle" approval had been granted to convert 51,300 km length of state roads as new highways.
The criteria for the conversion includes roads running through the length and breadth of the country, connecting adjacent countries, national capital with state capitals, mutually the state capitals, major ports, large industrial centres or tourist centres, roads meeting very important strategic requirement in hilly and isolated areas. The total length of highways in the country till March 31, 2014 was about 91,287 km, which has been enhanced to about 1,15,435 km at present.
The Ministry has also taken up a detailed review of the highways network with a view to develop road connectivity to border areas, development of coastal roads, improvement in the efficiency of National Corridors and development of Economic Corridors under the proposed Bharatmala Pariyojana.
On June 16 the Public Investment Board recommended the proposal for Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana for consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for investment approval.