NEW DELHI: The government has drawn up
an ambitious target to lay 18,637km network of brand new expressways by 2022.
These high-speed, access-controlled roads will be of the four-lane and six-lane
variety with 3,530 km to come up in the next three years.
highways ministry is ready with a Master Plan for the National Expressway
Network. The new target of expressway length was projected after receiving
observations from 11 states including Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka
and Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, the final draft report prepared by the highways
ministry had proposed to develop 17,661 km of expressway network.
expressways network will not be an upgraded national highway network but will be
developed entirely as greenfield projects. These will preferably be built with
three-metre high embankments and will have service roads along the stretches
where there is a need. Officials said there was an urgent need to develop
expressways network as road transport would remain the mainstay for sustaining
the economic momentum of the country.
“The existing arterial
network cannot meet the latent and the emerging demands for connectivity and
accessibility while ensuring the desired level of safety,” said a senior
As per estimates, the construction cost per km
would be Rs 14 crore in case of 4-lane and Rs 20 crore in case of 6-lane
expressways excluding land acquisition and other expenses. A recent presentation
made before the top brass of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the
ministry also mentioned that while majority of identified stretches would be
built on build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode, stretches which were unviable could
be developed on annuity basis.
The Master Plan document has also
phased the expressway development programme for 2012, 2017 and 2022 and this has
been done on the basis of financial viability, relative traffic intensity along
various corridor segments, network comprehensiveness, connectivity warrants and
relative economic potential of each proposed project.
The ministry is
already in the process of preparing a draft for creation of a National
Expressways Authority of India (NEAI) on the lines of NHAI and the highway
regulator has also got an exclusive wing for the expressway as a stop-gap