India has achieved a significant milestone in its road infrastructure development under the leadership and hard work of Central Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari. In a recent press conference held in New Delhi, Minister Gadkari revealed that India’s national highway network has witnessed remarkable growth over the past nine years. The total length of national highways has increased by approximately 59 percent, propelling India to the second position globally, just behind the United States. This achievement highlights the commitment and dedication of the Indian government towards building a robust road network across the country.
India’s Road Network Surpasses 1,45,000 Kilometers
During the press conference, Nitin Gadkari shared the remarkable progress made in expanding India’s national highway network. In the year 2013-14, the total length of national highways stood at 91,287 kilometers. However, as of 2022-23, it has grown to an impressive 1,45,240 kilometers, marking a remarkable increase of over 59 percent. This expansion has been a result of meticulous planning, efficient execution, and continuous efforts to enhance the country’s road infrastructure.
Fastag: Revolutionizing Toll Collection and Reducing Waiting Time
One of the significant contributors to the success of India’s road infrastructure development has been the implementation of Fastag. Nitin Gadkari emphasized the positive impact of Fastag on toll collection efficiency. The introduction of this electronic toll collection system has significantly improved the toll revenue collection, with figures rising from INR 4,700 crore in 2013-14 to an impressive INR 41,342 crore in 2022-23. The government’s vision is to achieve a toll revenue collection of INR 1,30,000 crore by 2030.
Moreover, Fastag has also played a crucial role in reducing the waiting time at toll plazas. In 2014, the average waiting time at toll plazas was approximately 734 seconds. However, due to the implementation of Fastag, this waiting time has been significantly reduced to just 47 seconds in 2023. The government aims to further reduce it to a mere 30 seconds, ensuring smoother and more efficient travel experiences for commuters.
Emphasis on Expanding Road Networks in the Northeastern Region
Nitin Gadkari highlighted the special emphasis placed on expanding road networks in the northeastern region of India. The government has undertaken projects worth more than INR 2 lakh crore in this region, aiming to improve connectivity and promote development. By focusing on improving infrastructure in the northeast, the government is addressing long-standing connectivity challenges and fostering economic growth and social development in the region.
India’s Road Infrastructure: Second Only to the United States
India’s remarkable progress in road infrastructure is evidenced by its road network, which currently spans over 6.3 million kilometers. With this extensive network, India has secured the second position globally, trailing only the United States, which boasts a road network of 6.8 million kilometers. This achievement showcases India’s commitment to enhancing its transportation infrastructure and connecting its vast and diverse landscape.
NHAI’s Environmental Initiatives
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also made significant efforts to promote environmental sustainability alongside infrastructure development. Nitin Gadkari mentioned that more than 68,000 trees have been transplanted, and an astounding 3.86 crore new trees have been planted over the past.