Published On: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

NHAI International to Take Up Road and Highway Projects Abroad

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said that his ministry was considering a proposal to launch “NHAI International” for undertaking roads and highway construction projects abroad particularly in South Asia. Concurrently, India is also looking forward to setting up joint ventures (JVs) for road construction in neighbouring countries.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said that India is keen to participate in road construction and they are promoting road construction joint ventures in neighbouring countries like Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka through joint ventures. Sri Lanka has already agreed to allot a couple of road projects in northern Sri Lanka to them

They have plans to develop road projects in Iran as part of the development of Chabahar Port-related projects.

According to experts, such a subsidiary could be in the form of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will collaborate with foreign companies to bag international projects.

On the domestic front, the minister has set a target of achieving construction of 40 km of roads per day in the next year one year or so.

“Projects like road and highway construction, including tunnels, over-bridges and roadside amenities and other related projects also depends on various other factors like weather conditions and local issues.

As per various estimates, India has one of the longest road networks across the world at over five million kilometers. The network consists of national highways, state highways, major district roads and rural roads. The overall target is to increase the national highways length to two lakh kilometers

Out of the total road network, national highways and expressways account for only two per cent, but are used to transport more than 40 percent of all goods and passenger traffic.

The slow average speeds on these highways due to high road density and non-availability of access-control measures allows cargo laden trucks to travel only 225-250 km per day.

In the Union Budget 2017-18, the central government allotted Rs. 64,000 crore ($9.55 billion) to NHAI for roads and highways and Rs. 27,000 crore ($4.03 billion) for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) that is focused on rural roads.

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