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Highway to growth

The transport infrastructure sector in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% through the year 2021, thereby becoming the fastest expanding component of the country's infrastructure sector.

The construction of highways reached 8,142 km during FY 2016-17, with an all-time high average pace of 22.3 km per day. In the first two months of FY 2017-18, 1,627 km of highways was constructed at an average of 26.3 km per day. The financial outlay for road transport and highways grew at a CAGR of 12.5% between FY 2010-16.

India has a well-developed framework for Public-Private Partnerships in the Highway sector. Asian Development Bank ranked India # 1 in PPP operational maturity and designated India as a developed market for PPPs. 

The recently launched Bharatmala Pariyojana aims to build 66,100 km of Economic corridors, Border & Coastal Roads, Expressways to boost the Highway Network and increase the traffic to 70-80%. It is envisaged that the programme will provide 4-lane connectivity to 550 districts, increase the vehicular speed by 20-25% and reduce the supply chain costs by 5-6%. 

  •  By 2022, the first phase of the programme will bring in USD 82 bn investments for a development of 34,800 km of Highways.


100% FDI allowed under automatic route.

for more details refer FDI Policy 2017


  • Road construction in India is targeted at 40 km a day in 2017-18
  • USD 169 mn alloted for road safety in India
  • India recorded highest ever average daily construction rate of 133 km achieved for rural roads in 2016-17

Industry Scenario

India’s roads and bridges infrastructure, which was valued at USD 6.9 bn in 2009 is expected to touch USD 19.2 bn by 2017.

India has a total road network length of 5.5 mn km.

95% of the total share of this length is covered under District and Rural roads. State highways cover close to 3% of the road length while the remaining 2% comes under National Highways.
1,17,000 km and growing National Highways act as a backbone of the freight and passenger traffic and carry over 40% of traffic. 261 four-lane projects with a total length of 14,268 km amounting to USD 28 bn are presently ongoing.
The Indian roads carry almost 90% of the country’s passenger traffic and around 65% of its freight. 
The government has earmarked 20% of the investment of which USD 1 tn is reserved for infrastructure during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012–17) to develop the country's roads.

  •  By 2022, Investment of USD 31 bn is expected in PPP for national highways


Growth Drivers

GD roads
  • Construction equipment industry growth


  • % of GDP on logistics & transportation


  • District & rural roads share


  • Public transport dependency


Key policies

7-phased National Highway Development Project

National Highways Development Project is being implemented in all phases except phase VI at present. The present phases improving more than 49,260 km of arterial routes of NH Network to international standards.

Bharatmala Pariyojana

Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways. A total of around 24,800 km are being considered in Phase I. Estimated outlay for Phase I is Rs 5,35,000 crores spread over 5 years. The objective of the program is optimal resource allocation for a holistic highway development/improvement initiative.

Monetization of Operational National Highways

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is monetizing public funded National Highway (NH) projects which are operational and are generating toll revenues for at least two years after the Commercial Operations Date (COD) through the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model. Around 75 operational NH projects completed under public funding have been preliminarily identified for potential monetization using the TOT Model.

FDI Facts

  • FDI inflows (in USD) during April 2000 - September 2017 for Construction development: Townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction-development projects

  • FDI equity inflows (in USD) during Apr 2017 - Jun 2017 for Construction development: Townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction-development projects

  • Share of FDI during Apr 2000 - Jun 2017 for construction development: townships, housing, built-up infrastructure and construction-development projects

Recent Investments

  • December 2016 - Spanish infrastructure firm Abertis Infraestructuras SA has agreed to buy two operational toll road assets in south India from Macquarie Group Ltd for about USD 150 mn

  • August 2016 - A consortium of investors led by Goldman Sachs Inc has agreed to invest USD 220 mn in Essel Highways, the road infrastructure holding company of Subhash Chandra controlled Essel Group.

  • December 2015 - I Squared acquired 100% of Jaipur Mahua Tollway Pvt Ltd (JMTPL) from Malaysia-based IJM Corporation for about USD 85 mn.

  • August 2015 - Brookfield Asset Management made its first significant investment in Indian infrastructure, buying six road and three power projects from Gammon Infrastructure Projects Limited for USD 1 bn.

Major Investors