• Government to spend Rs 7 lakh crore in developing highways

    With the government constructing roads at a record 20 kilometers per day, Nitin Gadkari, Roads, Transport and Highway Minister on Monday said that about Rs 7 lakh crore would be spent to develop around 50,000 kilometres of national highways over the next five years.

    Replying to a query at the Rajya Sabha, Gadkari further added that the government has allocated a total gross budgetary support of Rs 46,834 crore including cess and toll remittance for 2016-17 for the ministry.

    In addition, internal and extra budgetary resources of Rs 59,279 crore have also been allowed to be raised for the highways department in 2016-17.

    For the Ministry of Shipping, the government has allocated a total gross budgetary suport of Rs 1,531 crore. In addition, internal and extra budgetary resources of Rs 3,183 crore has also been allowed.

    “There is a proposal to spend around Rs 7 lakh crores to develop National Highways of around 50,000 kilometres in the next five years.

    “For Sagarmala port development, the project cost is Rs 73,375 crore and in respect to port modernisation it is Rs 9,891 crore,” he added.

    The current pace is a third more than the previous best of 15 km per day achieved in 2012. “We’ll touch our target of 30 kilometres per day in another five-six months,” Gadkari had said earlier.

    According to him, the United States has promised technical help for the construction of roads, bridges and flyovers. The US will also share expertise in road safety and traffic management.

    Acknowledging that road safety is a big problem in India, Gadkari had earlier said that safe roads are of the highest priority for the government and that the US had assured full co-operation in meeting the challenge.

    During the current financial year, the government has set a target of constructing 10,000 kilometres of greenfield highways, for which a budgetary allocation of Rs 57,000 crore has been made. Eddie Goldman Jersey

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