Govt to convert 10, 000 km of state roads into national highways

The states had requested the Centre to upgrade the entire 55,000 km of state highways to national highways, but because of lack of funds, the road ministry will undertake the conversion of only 10,000 km in next five year plan.

"EGOM has approved inclusion of 10,000 km of state highways in the national highways, these would come up in the next plan period (2012-17)," Road Transport and Highways Secretary Brahm Dutt told reporters.

He said that the states had requested the Ministry to convert about 55,000 km of state highways into National Highways.

On being asked about the remaining 45,000 km, Dutt said, "That we can't because resource constraint is the moment not possible ... our resources permit only 10,000 km in the next plan."

The process of identification of state roads to be included in the National Highways network is underway.

"We will approve... may be by the end of this year, the exercise to identify the 10,000 km is going on," he added.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) in March had approved the proposal for declaration of about 10,000 km of state roads as National Highways, he said.
The criteria for conversion would be finalised after discussing with the Planning Commission, he added.

Total length of National Highways in the country at present is 70,934 km and the government has already announced to construct 35,000 km of highways by 2015.

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