Govt takes up Rs. 15,000cr road upgrade

NationalHighways
In a major initiative to match the road infrastructure deficit in the country, the transport ministry has decided to upgrade state roads into national highways entailing a staggering investment worth Rs 15,000cr. In this connection, the Union transport ministry has already made a budgetary allocation to undertake expansion and capacity enhancement projects such as increasing the number of lanes and providing wayside amenities along with standardizing the existing network. It may be recalled that the government has set a target of upgrading 50,000 km of existing road length into national highways. Projects that are found viable traffic wise will be taken up on public private partnership (PPP) basis as well, also including the recently conceived hybrid annuity model. On this score, the centre has already relaxed norms but the states will have to send the proposal of roads they want to get upgraded along with the break-up of traffic plying on those roads. The specification for four-laning national highways has been reduced to 10,000 passenger car units (PCUs) from 15,000 PCUs, while the daily traffic threshold has been reduced to 6,000 PCUs in hilly areas from earlier 8000 PCUs, claimed ministry sources.

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