Government of India to increase National Highway cover to 2 lakh kilometres
In order to address the rising vehicle congestion in the country, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has announced that the national highway cover will be increased from the current 96,000 kilometres to 2 lakh kilometres. He said that a formula has been devised based on vehicular traffic movement, according to which four-lane, six-lane and express highways will be developed.
Gadkari said, "At present, we have 96,000km national highways or 52 lakh km road length in the country. As much as 40 per cent of the traffic moves on these 2 per cent national highways and as a result, five lakh accidents take place."
"Three lakh people get injured and 1.5 lakh are killed in these accidents. The main reason is traffic congestion. Therefore, to save lives of people and diversify traffic, our Government has decided to extend national highways from 96,000 km to two lakh km. Nearly 70 per cent to 80 per cent traffic of the country move on this," he further added.
He also said that in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the total length of national highways was 8,483km of which 4,500km was with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and 3,134km was with state Public Works Department. "In the next two months, we have decided to expand this 8,483km to 17,000km which is double. Few proposals have been submitted by the state government and others by MPs and MLAs."
Additionally, two new highways will be developed in Uttar Pradesh. "First is east-west highway on which we are going to spend Rs 1,400 crore. This will reduce Delhi's traffic by 50 per cent. The second one is from Delhi to Dasna, which would be 14-lane, a first time in the country," he said. Gadkari mentioned that while earlier it took around 2-3 hours to travel from Delhi to Meerut, it will now take only 40 minutes
An access control highway connecting Lucknow to Kanpur has also been planned, which would reduce travel time between the two cities to 40 minutes. Gadkari said that 10 projects are likely to be awarded in the next three months with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore each.