India has the second largest road network in the world, spanning a total of 5.89 million kilometres (kms). This road network transports 64.5% of all goods in the country and 90% of India’s total passenger traffic uses road network to commute. Road transportation has gradually increased over the years with improvement in connectivity between cities, towns and villages in the country.
In India, sale of automobiles and movement of freight by roads is growing at a rapid rate.
Highway construction in India increased at 21.44% CAGR between FY16-FY19. In FY19, 10,855 km of highways were constructed, and the Government has set a target for constructing 12,000 km of national highways in FY20. In October 2020, the foundation stone was established for nine National Highway projects—with a total length of ~262 km—worth >Rs. 2752 crore (US$ 371.13 million) in Tripura.
The Government of India has allocated Rs. 111 lakh crore (US$ 1.4 trillion) under the National Infrastructure Pipeline for FY 2019-25. The roads sector is likely to account for 18% capital expenditure over FY 2019-25.
In October 2020, The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is making progress towards integrating its road and highway portfolio. The NIIF has acquired Essel Devanahalli Tollway and Essel Dichpally Tollway through the NIIF master fund. These road infra-projects will be supported by Athaang Infrastructure, NIIF's proprietary road network, assisted by a team of established professionals with diverse domain expertise in the transport field.
The Union Minister of State for Road, Transport and Shipping has stated that the Government aims to boost corporate investment in roads and shipping sector, along with introducing business-friendly strategies, that will balance profitability with effective project execution. According to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Policy (DPIIT), construction development^ sector attracted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow worth US$ 25.78 billion in the between April 2000 and September 2020.
Some of the recent Government initiatives are as follows:
The NHAI awarded 1,330km of highways in the first half of FY21, which was 1.6x of the total awards in FY20 and 3.5x of the FY19-levels. NHAI, the nodal authority for building highways across the country, has set a target of awarding 4,500km of projects in FY21.
In December 2020, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways inaugurated the three lane 1.5 km long Koilwar bridge over Sone river in Bihar.
In December 2020, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari laid foundation stones for 15 National Highways projects with a total length of 266 km, worth Rs. 4,127 crore (US$ 560.88 million) in Nagaland.
In December 2020, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology of the Republic of Austria on technology cooperation in the road infrastructure sector.
In November 2020, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued the ‘Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020’ to regulate shared mobility and reduce traffic congestion and pollution.
In November 2020, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari announced a large financial relief package and released Rs. 8,000 crore (US$ 1.08 billion) to meet the working capital requirements of contractors.
The Government, through a series of initiatives, is working on policies to attract significant investor interest. A total of 200,000 km of national highways is expected to be completed by 2022.
In the next five years, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will be able to generate Rs. 1 lakh crore (US$ 14.30 billion) annually from toll and other sources.
Note: Conversion rate used for December 2020 is Rs. 1 = US$ 0.01357
References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, NHAI website, Press Information Bureau (PIB)
Notes: ^FDI in construction development Includes: Townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction-development projects
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.
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