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April, 2010

Sector Structure/Market Size

India has the world's second largest road network, aggregating over 3.34 million kilometers (km).

According to the Planning Commission, the road freight industry will be growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9 per cent from 2007-08 to 2007-12. A target of 1,231 billion tonne km (BTK) has been put on road freight volumes for 2011-12.

According to Crisil Research’s annual review of the roads and highways sector published in August 2009, the potential investment in the sector is expected to be to the tune of US$ 107 billion between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

Growth Potential

The Indian government has launched the ambitious National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) involving a total investment of US$ 50 billion up to 2012.

The government has also started the Bharat Nirman Programme that aims to cover every village having a population of over 1,000 or over 500 in hilly and tribal areas, with all-weather roads.

According to the Press Information Bureau, in the third week of December 2009, the government approved four-laning 384 km of highways with an investment of US$ 669.2 million.

Moreover, in January 2010, the government approved road projects worth US$ 1.4 billion in five states for upgrading nearly 562 km of four-lane highways into six lanes, according to the Press Information Bureau.

In the first week of April, the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved highway construction works worth over US$ 981.4 million in various states including Bihar and Rajasthan, according to the Press Information Bureau.

The Tamil Nadu government has allocated US$ 2.25 billion for a project envisaging laying of roads of international standard in 11 cities.

The World Bank has agreed to provide a US$ 3 billion loan for developing national highways. The World Bank assistance will be utilised for converting 6,372 km of one-lane highways to two-lane, out of the total of 19,702 km of single lane highways in the country.

Private Sector Investments

  • The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) Group-promoted Reliance Infrastructure is aiming at a near five-fold increase in its roads portfolio to US$ 4.6 billion by 2012 from US$ 953 million in October 2009.
  • IVRCL Infrastructure & Projects Ltd has received a road project in Madhya Pradesh worth US$ 340.1 million from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
  • Gayatri Projects Ltd has received a road project worth US$ 134 million from the NHAI for six-laning the Indore-Dewas stretch of NH3.