India has the second-largest road network in the world, spanning a total of 5.89 million kilometres (kms).
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 road transport infrastructure projects. The Government’s policy to increase private sector participation has proved to be a boon for the infrastructure industry with many private players entering the business through the public-private partnership (PPP) model. In FY21, there were 125 PPP projects worth US$ 23.25 billion in India.
With the Government permitting 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the road sector, several foreign companies have formed partnerships with Indian players to capitalise on the sector's growth. Cumulative FDI inflows in construction development stood at US$ 26.23 billion between April 2000-September 2022. The Government’s move to cut GST rates on construction equipment from 28% to 18% is expected to give boost to the industry.
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.
NHAI plans to construct 25,000 kilometres of national highways in 2022-23 at a pace of 50 km per day.
In the Union Budget 2022-23, government has planned for an increase in allocation for the central road fund by 19%, the total fund was Rs. 2,95,150 crores (US$ 38.86 million).
As of March 2022, the government plans to spend Rs. 10,565 crore (US$ 1.38 billion) on the Trans-Arunachal Highway and Kaladan Multi-Model Transport Project, as well as other roads development projects such as capital connectivity, district connectivity, connectivity to the international border, and improvement and strengthening of roads in the region of Sikkim.
In August 2021, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari announced to launch 1,080-km (road construction) projects worth Rs. 25,370 crore (US$ 3.4 billion) in Gujarat under the Bharatmala Pariyojana—the ambitious road and highways project that aims to build highways from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and then cover the entire string of Himalayan territories. In FY22 (until December 2021) the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways constructed national highways extending 5,835 kms.
In September 2021, to transform road infrastructure in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, the Indian government has planned to construct roads extending 313 kms for Rs. 11,000 crore (US$ 1.48 billion). The Indian government announced road projects worth Rs. 1 lakh crore (US$ 13.48 billion) to develop road infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir. The region has also witnessed growth in national highways, from 7 in 2014 to 11 in 2021.
In September 2021, the Government of Maharashtra approved a 173.7-kilometre long outer-ring road project in Pune, worth Rs. 26,831 crore (US$ 3.61 billion).
In October 2021, the government issued a notice related to concessions under the Vehicle Scrapping Policy (effective from April 2022) to encourage vehicle owners towards discarding old vehicles which have higher fuel consumption costs.
In October 2021, the government launched a conversion project for 15 major roads in the Agartala smart city, the project will convert these roads to weather-resilient ones, and further strengthen development of the region.
In October 2021, the government announced rules to improve road safety, such as fixed driving hours for commercial truck drivers and a mandate to install sleep detection sensors in commercial vehicles.
In October 2021, the government announced a plan to install charging stations every 40 to 60 kilometres on national highways to strengthen wayside amenities; in line with this, ~700 e-vehicle charging stations are expected to be installed by 2023, covering 35,000 to 40,000 kms of national highways.
In September 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways constructed national highways extending 3,824 kms compared with 3,335 kms in August 2021.
In July 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways granted 162 kms road highway (New NH-365BG), as part of the economic corridor under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, with an aim to connect Andhra Pradesh and Telangana via a robust road infrastructure that supports speed of 100kms/hour. The total project cost is Rs. 2,600 crore (US$ 350 million).
The Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, is targeting to construct 40 kms per day in FY22.
As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, national highway construction hit an all-time high of 37 km per day in FY 2020-21.
Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir, 3,261 roads of length of 19,277 kms and 243 bridges have been sanctioned, out of which 1858 roads of length 11,517 kms and 84 bridges have been completed. Similarly, in the UT of Ladakh, 142 roads of length of 1207 kms and 3 bridges have been sanctioned, out of which 96 roads of length 699 kms and 2 bridges have been completed until July 2020.
The Indian government launched Gati Shakti-National Master Plan, which will help lead a holistic and integrated development of infrastructure generating immense employment opportunities in the country.
India’s Gati Shakti program has consolidated a list of 81 high impact projects, out of which road infrastructure projects were the top priority. The major highway projects include the Delhi-Mumbai expressway (1,350 kilometres), Amritsar-Jamnagar expressway (1,257 kilometres) and Saharanpur-Dehradun expressway (210 kilometres). The main aim of this program is a faster approval process which can be done through the Gati shakti portal and digitized the approval process completely.
Under the Union Budget 2022-23, the Government of India has allocated Rs. 199,107.71 crore (US$ 26.04 billion) to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Note: TOT - toll operate transfer, * - investments include Budgetary support, IEBR refers to Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources and constitutes the resources raised by the public sector units through profits, loans and equity and Private sector investments; according to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, ^ - FDI in construction development Includes: Townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction-development projects