India has the second largest road network in the world, spanning a total of 4.87 million kilometres (kms). Roads in India transport over 60 per cent of all goods and 85 per cent of total passenger traffic. The roads and bridge infrastructure industry is expected to be worth US$ 19.2 billion by FY17.
The National Highways account for 1.9 per cent of the total road network in India and are expected to reach 100,000 kms by the end of the 2017 from 97,135 kms in FY15. The Government of India has formulated a seven-phase programme, ‘National Highway Development Project (NHDP)’, vested with National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), for the development of National Highways in the country.
The private sector has emerged as a key player in the development of road infrastructure in India. Increased industrial activities, along with increasing number of two and four wheelers have supported the growth in the road transport infrastructure projects. The government’s policy to increase private sector participation has proved to be a boon for the infrastructure industry with a large number of private players entering the business through the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
With the Government permitting 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the road sector, several foreign companies have formed partnerships with Indian players to capitalise on the sector's growth.
The NHAI has invited bids for the preparation of detailed project reports for 44 freight corridors, inter-corridors and feeder routes to reduce the cost and time of the freight movement across the country, under the Ministry of Roads Logistic Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP).
Three memorandum of understanding (MOUs) were signed between National Green Highways Mission (NGHM) and ITC Ltd, Yes Bank Ltd and Teri for setting up a Centre for Innovations in Green Pathways in order to enhance research and innovations in the field.
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