Highway to growth

The total road network in India is 6.4 million km comprising of national & state highways and urban & rural roads. National highways account for 2% of the total road network and carry over 40% of total traffic.

NHAI has accomplished the construction of 3,951 km of national highways in the financial Year 2020-21.  This is one of the highest highway construction achieved in a financial year. The construction pace as noticed in the last few years has seen steady growth with 3,380 Km construction in the FY 2018-19.  

India has a well-developed framework for Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) in the highway sector. Asian Development Bank ranked India at the first spot in PPP operational maturity and also designated India as a developed market for PPPs.

The Government of India (GoI) is planning to expand the national highway network to over 200,000 km. The Government launched the Bharatmala Pariyojana, which aims to build 66,100 km of economic corridors, border and coastal roads, and expressways to boost the highway network. 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%. The first phase of the programme will bring in $82 bn investments by 2022 for the development of 34,800 km of highways.

100% FDI in roads and highways is allowed under automatic route.

For further details, please refer FDI Policy

  • Km

    Avg. highway constructed per day in FY 2020-21

  • Km

    National highway construction in FY 2020

  • %

    Share of GDP on logistics & transportation

  • Projects awarded under PPP

$275 Billion to be invested on roads under NIP between 2019 and 2025

Highest ever construction of 37 km per day of National Highways in 2020-21

12,205.25 km National Highways constructed in India during FY 2020-21

Industry Scenario

The GoI has given a massive push to infrastructure by allocating about $1.4 Tn for infrastructure to be invested until 2025.

The government has forecasted an investment of $350 bn towards road infrastructure in the North-East region of India during 2020-2025.

The market for roads and highways in India is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 36.16% during 2016-2025, on account of growing government initiatives to improve transportation infrastructure in the country. Almost 40% (824) of the 1,824 PPP projects awarded in India until December 2019 were related to roads.

The highways sector in India has been at the forefront of performance and innovation. The government has successfully rolled out over 60 road projects in India worth over $10 bn based on the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM). HAM has balanced risk appropriately between private and public partners and boosted PPP activity in the sector.

Asset recycling, through the toll-operate-transfer (ToT) model has been taken up by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for 100 highways. The first two bundles of 9 highways each were monetized successfully for an investment of over $2 bn.

As one of the biggest reforms in the road transportation industry in India, the NHAI has gone ‘Fully Digital’, with the launch of a unique cloud-based and Artificial Intelligence-powered Big Data Analytics platform – Data Lake and Project Management Software. The entire project management work flow of NHAI is transformed from manual to online portal based, wherein the complete project execution operations including ‘workflow with time lines’ and ‘alert mechanism’ have been configured. All project documentation, contractual decisions and approvals are now being done through portal only.


  • Massive infrastructure push

    $1.4 Tn to be invested for infrastructure from 2020-25

  • NH expansion

    Length of national highways to reach 200,000 km

  • Growing demand

    Production of all vehicle segments reached 26 mn

  • Policy support

    Standardized process for bidding and tolling


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Asked Questions

what is the objective of Bharatmala programme?

Bharatmala Pariyojana program 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.

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What are the different initiatives taken by the Govt. towards development of Highways in India?

Some of the key initiatives taken by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) are:

  1.    Bharatmala Pariyojna
  2.    Eastern Peripheral Expressway – Western Peripheral Expressway
  3.    Indian Bridge Management System
  4.   Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT)
  5.    Planning of multi modal transport system
  6.    Green Highways Division in NHAI
  7.    Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS)
  8.    INAM-Pro+ launched
  9.    Bhoomi Rashi

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What is the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification & Maintenance) Policy? What are the benefits of adopting this policy?

This is a Policy to promote greening of highway corridors with participation of the community, farmers, private sector, NGOs, and government institutions. Further, the policy provides comprehensive guidelines to ensure uniformity of operations pertaining to enhancement of highway landscapes. The community shall be benefited in terms of huge generation of employment opportunities, entrepreneurship development and  environmental benefits. Overall, adoption of the policy will contribute to economic development of the country and the local groups can access their rights to the non-timber produce from the trees.

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What are the Fiscal incentives provided by the Government in Road and Highway Sector?

Fiscal incentives for the sector are as follows:
1) 100% FDI through automatic route allowed subject to applicable laws and regulation.
2) Right of way (RoW) for project land made available to concessionaires free from all encumbrances.
3) NHAI/GOI to provide capital grant (Viability Gap Funding/Cash Support) up to 40% of project cost to enhance viability on a case to case basis.
4) 100% tax exemption for five years and 30% relief for next five years, which may be availed of in 20 years.
5) Duty free import of modern high capacity construction equipment.

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What roles did Government play in highway sector?

National Highways Authority of India implemented the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever Highways Project in a phased manner. Prime focus of NHDP was to ensure enhanced safety features, better riding surface, road geometry and traffic management, bypasses and wayside amenities, over bridges and underpasses etc.

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