Construction of national highways in India hit a record 10,000 km in the year ended March 31 after the government stepped up the pace of implementation and awarding contracts.
On average, 27.5 km of highways were constructed every day in FY18, while contracts were awarded for an average 46 km per day.
The construction of 10,000 km of national highways last year compares with 8,231 km in FY17 and 4,260 km (11 km per day) in FY14, the last year of the UPA government. Contracts were awarded for 17,000 km in FY18 compared with 15,848 km a year earlier and 3,169 km (8 km per day) in FY14.
The total investment in constructing national highways by both the government and private investors was about Rs.1.5 lakh crore, of which almost Rs.1 lakh crore came from budgetary allocation, ploughing back of toll collections and borrowings by the National Highways Authority of India.
In FY19, the expenditure on national highways is likely to exceed Rs.2 lakh crore, of which about Rs.1 lakh crore will come from extra-budgetary resources (including NHAI borrowings and monetisation of existing national highways) and more than ₹70,000 crore through budgetary grants and tolls.
The ministry implements its national highways development programme through NHAI, the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation and state public works departments.
NHAI is the single largest agency for implementation of national highways – it constructed more than 4,000 km in FY18 and awarded 150 projects of 7,400 km worth ₹1.22 lakh crore, the highest ever.
The length of road projects awarded by NHAI was 4,335 km in FY17.