The government will soon come up with wayside amenities every 50 km on national highways for passengers and truckers, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today. Gadkari said the facilities under the policy, drafted by the ministry, will offer a range of services that will include parking for vehicles, food courts, rest rooms and kiosks for sale of local specialties and help battle unemployment. “Recognising lack of wayside amenities along the highways as we see in Germany, Europe, and the US, we have decided to provide wayside amenities at every 50 km of length of National Highways, which will be developed through private participation,” Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping Minister Gadkari said at an event to unveil the logo of Highway Village and Highway Nest here. Assessing the need of the commuters traveling across national highways, the ministry has planned to develop these entities that will not only provide adequate rest and refreshment for different highway commuters such as car, buses and heavy vehicles but will offer area specific handicrafts by local artisans besides local food and fruits.
Citing an example, he said the travelers can get hand picked oranges from Nagpur, grapes from Nasik and apples from Himachal Pradesh. Also, the government will provide free road access permission to facilities, besides facilitating setting up of oil and gas outlets. Calling upon investors and people who have land along highways to join hands in the initiative, the minister said at least 1,000 wayside entities are planned and land for 200 such spots is available with the NHAI, while the rest will be developed in collaboration with private land owners. NHAI is in the process of developing entities at 183 locations out of which bids have been invited for 34 sites, while bids for another 30 sites will be invited by the end of August. “It is proposed that the letter of award for 34 sites shall be issued by October, 2017. For balance 119 sites, NHAI is in the process of inviting bids by September 2017.
The facilities having areas more than 5 acres shall be developed under the brand name ‘Highway Village’ and facilities on a smaller area less than 5 acres shall be developed with brand name Highway Nest,” NHAI Chairman Deepak Kumar said.Kumar said private land owners having the minimum land area of more than one hectare abutting the National Highways can join hands with NHAI under the brand ‘Highway Nest’ for developing facilities as per standard layouts and designs.
Expression of interest from persons having the land parcel of more than one hectare abutting National Highways will be invited by the NHAI between August 4 and September 21. The franchise may select from the three customizable facility prototype, targeting specific road users that include passengers and heavy vehicle drivers, facility targeting passengers only and facility targeting truck drivers only.