Spanning a total of 4.7 million kilometres, India has the second largest road network in the world. This network comprises 155,716 kilometres of State Highways, 79,116 kilometres of National Highways and 4,455,010 kilometres of District and Rural roads. Roads in India transport over 60 per cent of all goods in the country and 85 per cent of total passenger traffic.
Infrastructure is the key to supporting double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth in India during the medium to long term. As on 31 March 2012, the country had 2,409 public–private partnership (PPP) projects across the infrastructure sector, of which 874 were dedicated towards roads and highways. The value of total roads and bridges infrastructure in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4 per cent over FY 12–17 to reach US$ 19 billion.
With the Government of India permitting 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the road sector, most foreign companies have formed partnerships with Indian players to participate in the sector’s growth story. The government has formulated a seven-phase programme known as ‘National Highway Development Project (NHDP)’, vested with National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), for the development of national highways in the country. About two-thirds of NHDP road projects (ex-phase IV) are yet to be awarded, thereby offering a huge opportunity for private players over the next five years.