NEW DELHI — The government has approved a Rs 16,680-crore National Highways (NH) upgradation project that will see construction of about 1,000 km of expressways.
"Government has approved a plan for construction of about 1,000 km expressways at an estimated cost of Rs 16,680 crore on design, build, finance, operate and transfer mode under NHDP phase VI," Minister of State for Road Construction and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
Radkhakrishnan said the government has identified eight stretches for upgradation into expressways that include 249 km Delhi-Chandigarh section of NH-1 and NH-22; 334 km of Bangalore-Chennai section of NH-4; 261 km of Delhi-Jaipur section of NH-8, and 277 km Kolkata-Dhanbad stretch of NH-2.
The National Highways to be upgraded also include 66 km Delhi-Meerut section of NH-58; 200 km of Delhi-Agra section of NH-2 and 135 km length of Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
"Based on the traffic intensity and commercial potential, the project shall be prioritised," he said.
The Minister said, "In addition, government has also approved to take up one more expressway namely eastern peripheral expressway with cement concrete pavement having a length of 135 km with estimated cost of Rs 5,763.10 crore."
Last month, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said work on 10 expressway projects will start soon and once completed they will not only reduce travel time between major cities but would also contribute significantly towards the economic growth.
"All these express highways are going to be world class matching the quality and specifications in advanced nations and once completed would result in huge savings in fuel cost," he had said.
He has said most of the projects will be concrete cement expressways.
An express highway is a controlled-access highways, mostly 6-lane or above, where entrance and exit is controlled by the use of slip roads (ramps) that are incorporated into the design of the highway.
The Indian road network of 33 lakh km is the second largest in the world and consists of 92,851 kms of National Highways, which constitute only 1.7 per cent of the road network but carry about 40 per cent of the total road traffic.