Chairperson of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), Alka Upadhyay, told the media that NHAI will tender for another bunch of highway projects with an additional 14,389 km by 2023-24 under Phase-I of Rs 5.35 trillion Bharatmala Pariyojana.
As of 31 March, under the programme through which economic corridors, expressways, border, international connectivity roads and coastal and port connectivity roads are being developed, 20,411 km project has been awarded, out of which 8,134 km has already been completed.
Upadhyay said that the development of freight corridors, national highways (NHs) and expressways would reduce logistics costs, which is recently very high in India, around 12-13% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
She added that Indian businesses would be more competitive as the government emphasises providing last-mile connectivity through the development of national highways, state highways and rural roads under the vision of PM Gatishakti programme. These developments will offer better connectivity and make Indian businesses more competitive. NHAI has an asset base of around 1.4 lakh km of NHs.
She told the media that NHAI did its first infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) last year and raised around Rs 8,000 crore through five projects for about 400 km. Its toll operate transfer (TOT) model raised about Rs 17,000 crore over the past few years. NHAI plans to monetise more assets with InvIT and TOT.
NHAI created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the Delhi-Mumbai expressway development programme, which received an AAA rating.
Under the Parvatmala programme, areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and North-East would be connected through the development of ropeways to provide last-minute connectivity. The work for awarding ropeways in Kedarnath and Hemkund has already started.
Also read: 336 km road works completed under Bharatmala Pariyojna Phase-I