Banks have assured funding to the tune of Rs 1.30 lakh crore for highways construction, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said today. He said 403 projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh crore were stalled during the UPA regime. The present NDA government, after assuming power in May 2014, has put on track Rs 3 lakh crore worth stalled projects. Gadkari said he has held meetings with banks, RBI Governor and Union Finance Minister regarding funding to the road sector.
“Banks have informed me in writing that they are ready to give Rs 1.30 lakh crore for funding of highway projects built in EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) mode,” Gadkari said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. He said till May 2014 the length of National Highways in the country was 91,000 km, which was insufficient to support growing number of vehicles as auto industry has recorded an annual growth of 22 per cent.
The present government has doubled that length to 1.80 lakh km. Of this, up to 1.30 lakh km is under the Centre and the remaining 50,000 km is ‘Principal National Highway’ which is to be managed by states. During April-June Rs 87,663 crore was allocated to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) of which Rs 20743 crore has been released, he said.