In 5 years, almost all districts in India to get connected with 4-lane NHs boosting connectivity


NEW DELHI: In the next five years, all districts in India, barring a few in the hill states, will get connected with four-lane National Highways (NHs), a move that will boost high speed connectivity and faster movement of freight. Almost all the four-lane NH stretches across the country are being built under flagship road development programmes by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
According to official data, till now nearly 35,000 km of NH network has been expanded to either four lanes or more while another construction and widening is underway on another 20,000 km. “We will be able to complete this entire network of around 55,000-57,000 km by 2027. Now there is also more focus on greenfield alignment roads and to link all the aspirational districts,” said a senior NHAI official.
While addressing a conference of transporters recently, the Union road transport and highways minister had said that the government has decided to provide four-lane highway connectivity to all districts which will ensure hassle-free movement of heavy transport vehicles.
Officials said some districts in hill states in the north east and Himachal Pradesh may not require such wider NHs considering the current traffic volume and of the next few years.
Sources said while the completed Golden Quadrilateral, North-South and East-West corridors under the national Highways Development Project (NHDP) had connected a large number of districts with four-lane NHs, the ongoing Bharatmala Yojana will provide similar connectivity to 550 districts. This also aims to increase the vehicular speed by 20-25% and reduce the supply chain costs by 5-6%.
Official data show that the length of NHs having four lane configuration or more has more than doubled in the past 11 years — from around 17,000 km in March 2011 to approximately 35,000 km in March 2022 — and the major focus of the future highways will be on construction of wider highways and expressways.
TOI has learnt that the next phases of NH development will be based on corridor approach, rather than taking up small stretches under the flagship programme.





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