Traveling on national highways to be easier as Transport ministry plans to set up 1000 roadside amenities

By: | Published: August 4, 2017 6:55 AM

As many as 1,000 such wayside amenities — 183 on NHAI land and the remaining on private land — have been planned by the road transport ministry

NHAI has already started inviting bids for setting up such facilities along with private parties; it will act as a facilitator for the set-ups to come on the private land. (Image: Reuters)

Travelling on national highways will be a different experience altogether as the government is proposing to set up wayside amenities that will house restaurants, rooms for short stays for passengers, fuel stations and local specialities, among others, at every 50 km along national highways, aimed at providing safe stopping points to avoid drivers’ fatigue and to generate employment. As many as 1,000 such wayside amenities — 183 on National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) land and the remaining on private land — have been planned by the ministry of road transport and highways. NHAI has already started inviting bids for setting up such facilities along with private parties; it will act as a facilitator for the set-ups to come on the private land.

The private land owners will have to set up the facilities, as per the standard specified by the NHAI, at their own cost. But the ministry will assist them in getting free access permission to the facility, land conversion along with logo and signage, and provide them with the access control road and help them in getting licences for setting up of oil and gas outlets. The facilities having areas more than five acres will be developed under the brand name ‘Highway Village’ and facilities on smaller areas less than 5 acres shall be developed with brand name ‘Highway Nest’.

Talking to reporters, minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said that these wayside amenities will not only benefit highway commuters, they would also help the local population as the sites will promote local handloom and handicrafts by having shops selling these items. The minister said that about 20 lakh people will get direct and indirect employment from these sites and it will lead to economic development for the villages along the highways.

NHAI chairman Deepak Kumar said that private land owners having minimum land area of more than 1 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 land parcels of more than 1 hectare abutting national highways will be invited by the NHAI between August 4 and September 21.

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