For the first time in the history of the country, the highest record was achieved by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Construction of roads has touched record 30 km per day, said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. While responding to questions raised during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways also said the Bharatmala Pariyojana is an important project that will change the country’s face. Gadkari said that the construction record came to 29.6 km, which means 30 km per day. According to a PTI report, this is for the first time in the history of the country, the highest record was achieved by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). In the next five years, the total construction of roads will match the likes of the United States and the European nations, he said.
The Modi government envisages developing 34,800 km of highways at Rs 5.35 lakh crore cost under the Bharatmala Pariyojna project. So far, the contract has been awarded for a length of 13,521 km roads and DPR for 16,500 km is currently in the pipeline. Apart from this, bids have been invited for 4,800 km. The minister said that a world record has also been made by NHAI for laying down 12,500 cubic meters of concrete on a 2.54 km long stretch.
The Union Minister, regarding the Char Dham project, said the ministry has taken up improvement as well as widening of 825 km (existing 889 km) of National Highways on the route. According to him, this will provide safer and improved road connectivity from Rishikesh to Janki Chati (Yamunotri), Gangotri and Mana (Badrinath), Gaurikund (Kedarnath) including the section from Tanakpur to Pithoragarh, of Kailash-Mansarovar route in the state of Uttarakhand at Rs 12,072 crore cost under as many as 53 separate projects. The 94 km long National Highway from Uttarkashi to Gangotri passes through the Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone. Till date, no work has been sanctioned on this section, he said.
According to the minister, on this section, the development will be carried out in accordance with the guidelines prescribed in Zonal Master Plan, which was approved by the Environment and Forests Ministry on 16 July 2020 and the final recommendation of the SC-appointed panel on road width as well as environmental protection measures suggested based on rapid EIA conducted by the ministry. Gadkari further said initially, the project for the development of road connectivity to Char Dham was targeted for completion by March 2020. However, due to litigation in the NGT and the SC, the schedule date is delayed, he added.