In her budget 2021 speech, Hon’ble Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a massive expansion of road and highways infrastructure in India. Highlighting the success of the Bharatmala Pariyojna project- under which 3,800 km length of roads out of 13,000 km have been constructed- she announced that an additional 11,000 km of National Highway corridors would be completed by March 2022. She also announced an outlay of INR 1,18,101 lakh crores for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which includes the highest ever outlay for capital of INR 1,08,230 crores.

The Finance Minister also announced several economic corridors to augment the road infrastructure: 

  1. 3,500 km of National highway works in Tamil Nadu that Madurai-Kollam corridor, Chittoor-Thatchur corridor to be constructed at an investment of INR 1.03 lakh crore.
  2. 1,100 km of National Highways works in Kerala, including a 600 km section of Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor in Kerala, at an investment of INR 65,000 crores.
  3. 1300 km of National Highways will be undertaken in Assam over the next three years at a cost of more than INR 34,000 crores.
  4. 675 km of highway works in West Bengal, including upgradation of the Kolkata-Siliguri road, at a cost of INR 25,000 crores.

Construction is expected to begin for an additional 8 expressway/corridor projects in 2021-22. Furthermore, all new four and six lane highways would be equipped with Advanced Traffic Management System.

Given the indispensability of roads to the country’s development, the announcement of new projects and the enhanced outlay to the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways are all welcome steps. 

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Union Budget