'Highways sector needs Rs 19.63 lakh cr investment'

Highways sector needs Rs 19.63 lakh cr investment by 2024-25: Economic Survey

Terming a sound highways network essential to propel the economy, the Economic Survey on Friday said the highways sector needs Rs 19.63 lakh crore investment by 2024-25.

The Economic Survey 2019-20 was tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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Of the total Rs 102 lakh crore investment need for infrastructure projected by the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), during 2020 to 2025, the highways sector will require Rs 19.63 lakh crore, the Survey said.

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

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"A good road network is an essential requirement for the rapid growth of the economy. Roads provide connectivity to remote areas, open up backward regions and facilitate access to markets, trade and investment. Roads should not be looked at in isolation, but as part of an integrated multi-modal transport system, which provides crucial links with airports, railway stations, ports and other logistical hubs," the Survey said.

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Of about 59.64 lakh km of roads in India, the total length of National Highways was 1.32 lakh km as on March 1, 2019.

"The pace at which roads have been constructed has grown significantly from 17 km per day in 2015-16 to 29.7 km per day in 2018-19. However, the pace seems to have moderated in 2019-20," the Survey said.

Road transport is the dominant mode of transportation in terms of its contribution to Gross Value Added (GVA) and traffic share.

The share of transport sector in the GVA for 2017-18 was about 4.77 per cent of which the share of road transport is the largest at 3.06 per cent, followed by the share of the Railways (0.75 per cent), air transport (0.15 per cent) and water transport (0.06 per cent).