India has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing China to become the country with the second largest road network in the world. With a total road network of nearly 64 lakh km, India has made remarkable progress in expanding its road connectivity over the past eight years. While the United States still holds the top position, India’s achievement highlights its commitment to enhancing infrastructure and connectivity.
Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, expressed his delight about India’s new ranking during a press conference held in Delhi. He emphasized the government’s efforts in improving road infrastructure and shared some remarkable statistics to support their achievements.
Gadkari revealed that toll revenues witnessed a significant increase, reaching Rs 41,342 crore in FY23, compared to a mere Rs 4,770 crore in 2013-14. The government aims to further boost toll revenue to Rs 1,30,000 crore by 2020, demonstrating their focus on leveraging road infrastructure for economic growth.
One key factor contributing to the efficient functioning of toll plazas is the adoption of Fastags. Gadkari mentioned that Fastags have played a crucial role in reducing waiting times at toll plazas to just 47 seconds. The ministry is actively exploring measures to further decrease waiting times to less than 30 seconds, with the ultimate goal of eliminating waiting times entirely by 2047.
In terms of highway expansion, Gadkari highlighted the remarkable growth of 4-lane National Highways (NH) over the past nine years. The length of 4-lane NH has almost doubled, expanding from 18,371 km in 2013-14 to 44,654 km currently.
Moreover, the government is placing special emphasis on the development and expansion of road networks in the Northeast region. With projects worth over Rs 2 lakh crore in progress, the Northeast region is set to witness substantial infrastructural growth and enhanced connectivity.
India’s achievement in becoming the country with the second largest road network reflects the government’s determination to boost infrastructure and support economic development. With ongoing efforts to improve road connectivity and streamline toll operations, India is making significant strides towards becoming a global leader in transportation infrastructure.