Highways ministry seeks Rs 85,000 crore from budget

Highways ministry seeks Rs 85,000 crore from budget

The road  transport and highways ministry has sought Rs 85,000 crore from the finance ministry for the coming fiscal in the next budget as the surface transport ministry will embark on major road-building projects, including  Bharatmala.  

In the current financial year, the ministry was allocated Rs 65,000 crore, but in the revised budgetary estimate around Rs 5,000 crore was reduced.

However, the ministry is confident that the finance  ministry will reconsider its decision as the highway-building work  has been expedited and all funds allocated will be spent by the end of this fiscal, said an official in the ministry.

In this fiscal, the ministry aims to build 10,000 km of national highways (29 km per day), while in the next year, the government plans to construct 35 km per day with a target  of building 13,000 km of highways.

In the 2018-19, the ministry also aims to spend Rs 1.7 lakh crore towards highway-building activities.

Besides budgetary allocation, the government is  hopeful  of raising funds from the  market and as well as private investors, said the official.

The government also plans to raise funds from a toll-operate-transfer scheme, in which completed highways will be handed over to private companies for  maintenance of the road and collect user charges for  a period of 30 years.

Besides, the ministry is expecting the implementation of the Bharatmala project, in which the government aims to build around 38,000 km of highways spending Rs 7 lakh crore by 2022,  to take place in the next fiscal.

Land acquisition for 28 ring roads and 45 expressways have already started, said the official.

 

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