The FM called it the “highest ever” allocation for the department. The allocation has gone up 2.5 times since 2014, when the new NDA government announced an outlay of Rs 33,305 crore.
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, and Assam will get highways worth Rs 2.27 trillion. “Highway works of 3,500 km for Rs 1.03 trillion will be undertaken in Tamil Nadu, 1,100 km for Rs 65,000 crore in Kerala, 675 km for Rs 25,000 crore in West Bengal, and Rs 34,000 crore worth of projects in Assam in the next three years,” Sitharaman said.
The ministry was allocated Rs 91,823 crore for FY21, which was later revised to Rs 1.02 trillion.
Total Budget allocation went up from Rs 83,015 crore last fiscal year to Rs 91,823.2 crore for 2020-2021. Of this, almost Rs 5,809 crore is through investment in NHAI met from monetisation of highways. The balance allocation is for road works.
Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari recently said his ministry plans to take the road building target to 40 km a day by March and that the NHAI has a target to build 60,000 km of highways in the next five years, including 2,500 km of expressways. These include 9,000 km of economic corridors, and 2,000 km each of strategic border roads and coastal roads. Besides, 100 tourist destinations and 45 towns would be connected. Also the share of EPC (engineering-procurement-construction) projects or government-funded projects was 60 per cent in the total project mix of NHAI last year. NHAI accomplished construction of 3,979 km of highways in 2019-20.
The Centre has also envisaged an ambitious highway development programme, Bharatmala Pariyojana, which includes development of 65,000 km highways.
Under Phase-I, the government has approved 34,800 km of projects with a stiff target of five years with an outlay of Rs 5.35 trillion. More than 13,000 km at Rs 3.3 trillion has been awarded, of which 3,800 kms have been constructed. “By March 2022, we would be awarding another 8,500 kms and complete an additional 11,000 kms of national highway corridors,” the FM said.