Budget 2020: Highways sector gets higher allocation

Budget 2020: Highways sector gets higher allocation

The allocation stands at Rs 91,823 crore as against Rs 83,016 crore earlier

Representative image. (iStock Photo)

The government aims to take up massive highway works in the financial year 2020-2021 including 15,500 km of highways and 9,000 km of economic corridors. 

“Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. This will include the development of 2500 km access control highways, 9000 km of economic corridors, 2000 km of coastal and land port roads and 2000 km of strategic highways,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in the budget. 

The budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has been enhanced to Rs 91,823.22 crore as against Rs 83,016 crore earlier.

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The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and another two highways will be completed by 2023. Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway works will begin this fiscal year, she said.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will monetise at least 12 highway stretches before 2024 to raise more resources. These stretches comprise of over 6,000 km of highways.

On electronic toll collection through FASTags, she said the “mechanism encourages us towards greater commercialisation of our highways so that NHAI can raise more resources.”
NHAI has so far come out with three tranches for road monetisation, with the first bundle of nine projects totalling approximately 681 km of highways in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat awarded in 2018 becoming a hit.

Welcoming the Budget as growth-oriented, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said: “A massive boost to investment in infrastructure, MSME, affordable housing, agriculture, irrigation, rural development would help revive industrial production and generate employment opportunities creating more than two crore jobs.”

The Economic Survey had on Friday said the highways sector needs Rs 19.63 lakh crore investment by 2024-25.

Total investment in the roads and highway sector has gone up more than three times in the five-year period of 2014-15 to 2018-19, the survey had said.