The Narendra Modi government is set to approve a mega highway development plan involving construction of 83,000 km of roads, at a an investment of nearly Rs7,00,000 crore, both to give a big push to the infrastructure sector and create badly-needed jobs.
As per the spending plan approved by the union cabinet on Monday, the government will develop about 83,000 km of roads at an investment of Rs6,90,000 crore in the next 5 years, giving a big stimulus to a sluggish economy.
The development of infrastructure, while creating jobs in the construction sector, including construction machinery, will also act as a growth booster.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley is likely to make an announcement regarding the same in the evening today.
The highway development plan includes the new 28,400km Bharatmala highway programme connecting border areas and improving international port and coastal connectivity, besides improving highway corridors connecting key economic and commercial hubs along 800 km of e-ways.
The focus of the entire plan is to improve speed of traffic flow on key corridors by providing uniform four-lane roads between two identified points. Most of these corridors will be shorter and access-controlled for faster movement of cargo vehicles.
The proposal cleared by the cabinet aims at pushing economic activity and generating at least 320 million mandays across the country in the next five years.
According to the ministry's estimates, construction of 10,000 km of highways annually has the potential to generate 40 million mandays.
Also, due to poor road conditions, narrow width and congestion points, a truck in India covers on an average 250-300 km daily in comparison to 700-800 km in developed countries.
The new highway development programme, perhaps the biggest government programme announced before the upcoming assembly elections, is both building roads to improve mobility and reduce logistic cost while creating jobs.