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Published:Monday, November 19, 2018 5:06 PM

Roads and Highways – A Quick Check

roads & highway

1,837 numbers of projects costing to Rs. 6,45,199 Crore having length 61,164km are ongoing for the expansion & resolving the issue of traffic congestion on National Highways in the whole country. For safety of road users, provisions of over bridges/Underpasses, widening of roads on war footing and are made an integral portion of the highway improvement project.

32 per cent of road length is less than two lanes wide, within the National Highway bracket. This effectively means that one-third of national highways are not supporting to speedy and sustainable movement of commercial and passenger traffic. The goal is to convert all 2 lane highways into 4-6 lane highways and it indicates that much work is left to be done in order to optimise these roads, to make the whole network ready for heavy traffic loads.

For conversion of State roads as new national highways, ministry of road transport receiving proposal from various state governments. The Ministry considers declaring some state roads as new NHs based on the priority, requirement of connectivity and disposal of funds. Under southern region 21 km length of State roads has been declared as new NHs in the State of Kerala during the last three years. Further, the Ministry has approved about 514 km length of State Roads as new NHs in the State which is subject to the outcome of their Detailed Project Reports (DPR) and initiatives have been taken for preparation of the said DPRs.

MoRTH ordering was up 7% YoY to 17,055km in 2017-18. However, with a jump of 70% YoY NHAI witness quantum jump in ordering in FY18 and ordered 7,397km worth Rs1.22tn in FY18 against 4,336km in FY17. Length of 3,791km was awarded on EPC mode, 3,396km was awarded on HAM and 210km on Toll mode out of the total projects awarded.

Upgradation/Development of Road

Development and maintenance of NHs, including the new National Highways, is a continuous process. Below is the figure showing allocation of fund during financial years

Sr. No.

Financial Year

Allocation for development of NHs

(Rs. In Crore)














2018-19 ( up to 30th June)


PMGSY is in focus

The Government of India has taken a decision to accelerate execution of PMGSY by providing connectivity to eligible habitations as per the core network of PMGSY by March, 2019. In view of the above, the sanctioning of the projects has been expedited.

Number of Road works completed during the last three years under PMGSY (Work in Nos.)





Work Completed




Fund Released (Rs. in Crore) under PMGSY during the last three years









What are the Key Issues?

  • Lack of Planned Infrastructure to yield full potential of cities
  • Fuel losses lead to GDP loss so use of more fossil fuel will lead to declined GDP Growth
  • Weak financial condition of city municipalities is also responsible in ITS (Intelligent Transport System) implementation also In India Development control regulations are not very strong
  • India is among one of the top road fatality country and the reason is poor intermodal integration , Cities are very much dependent on the surrounding areas and the integrated governance frame work is very weak also
  • If we go through data, 17 deaths every hour due to road accident 2015, Road accident is 8th leading cause of death , safety is major concern,
  • 10 % of total car population falls in four metro cities so first focus should be there.
  • Role of smart transportation in smart city is really crucial, people are ready to adopt changes but the contribution from human part is very important also eg. Awareness of traffic rules.
  • Bus stop location at downstream which leads to delay also high fuel consumption and emission

HAM projects – financial closure happening

Financials closure of HAM projects are happening and private banks and select NBFC’s are taking the lead. Select PSU, led by SBI have started to lend to road sector (HAM projects)

Key Areas of Investment:

  • Technology, Material and Heavy Construction Equipment
  • ITS (Intelligent Transport System) – Could be A Game Changer
  • Tunnel Projects – Many Projects are still in bidding Stage
  • Road Safety and Security
  • Bharatmala Programme – Coastal Road , Border Road , Expressway , Economic Corridor

Rising Demand from Road Transport


The funds accrued under the Central Road Fund (CRF) as per the provisions of the CRF Act, 2000 amended by the Finance Act from time to time during 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 were Rs. 69,809 crore, Rs. 80,800 crore and Rs. 85,600 crore (Provisional) respectively.

Key Recommendation

A well connected transport planning leads to well managed traffic and happy citizens also Smart integrated ecosystem for smart mobility is need of an hour. Unfortunately, public transport systems in Indian cities have not been able to match speed with the rapid and large increase in travel demand, the problem of acute road congestion, worsen air quality, and a high level of accident risk faced by metropolitan cities of India is taking serious dimensions and worsening the people’s quality of life.  

To remove congestion from road we need more elevated road, high speed connecting expressway to reduce travel timing and traffic burden, in recent time metro cities suffering from pollution and heavy traffic load which leads to health issues and wastage of fuel. The only solution is to encourage people to use public transport and also government needs to improve the facility and quality of public transport and to offer optimal pricing of public transport system to attract more people. Strategy should be designed in such a way that it reduces the need to travel by personalized modes and boosts public transport system, the time has come to act now.


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