The following article is an initiative of Network 18 and is intended to create awareness among the users.
Infrastructural development is crucial for India’s overall economic development. It is the key driver for growth.
In the past three years, India has witnessed robust infrastructural activities in several sectors such as power, railways, mining, housing, etc. Another sector, which is pivotal for India’s growth and has grown from mile to mile is-Roads sector.
Several factors including strong demand, increased investments and key policy changes have bolstered road connectivity in India, country which has the second largest road network in the world at 3.3 million km.
The focus has increased on growing national and state highways and the Indian government has announced several initiatives for building new express highways and elevated roads.
The Budget 2018 gave a massive push to National Highways as the budgetary allocation was pegged at Rs 71,000 crore, up from Rs 61,000 crore allocated during 2017-18.
Roads carry over 60% of all goods and 85% of total passenger traffic and this is bound to increase. The Road, Transport and Shipping Ministry led by Nitin Gadkari has been catering to the rising demand and came out with various schemes, policies and business-friendly strategies to further develop the road sector.
The road ministry has already fast-tracked at least 24 roads and highways projects. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to build 50,000 km of roads worth $250 billion by 2022 as part of a long-term goal of doubling the length of the national highway network to two lakh kilometres.
India has increased the pace of road construction to 23km a day, aiming at touching 41 km per day.
Having said that, the cabinet approved the Bharatmala (roads) scheme, for which the government will raise Rs 5.35 trillion as equity from the market.
To raise equity from the market for its mature road assets, NHAI will consider organizing its road assets into special purpose vehicles and use innovative monetizing structures like toll, operate and transfer (TOT) and Infrastructure Investment Funds (InvITs), Jaitley had said in his Budget speech.
The total investment for Bharatmala is pegged at Rs 10 trillion. This is the biggest ever outlay for a government road construction scheme. Also, an additional Rs 8 trillion investments will be required for Sagarmala until 2035.
With concentrated efforts, the roads network is set to become more robust. Such efforts take India on a global platform.
And, in a bid to laud India’s successes and lay the plans for many more to come, News18 Network, India’s largest news network, is holding a thought-leadership initiative - News18 Rising India Summit, which will bring together national and international luminaries from the fields of governance, arts, business and academia under one roof.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the audience by sharing his vision for India and his expectations from the leaders participating in the summit. Notable Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman will be the guest of honor.To know more about the event, log on to: www.news18risingsummit.com