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Highway to Prosperity: India’s Road Budget Skyrockets, Paving the Way for a Smoother Tomorrow

In an unprecedented move that’s sure to pave the way for smoother rides and faster commutes, the Ministry responsible for the upkeep and expansion of India’s National Highways (NHs) has just rolled out a budget that’s as hefty as the roads it aims to perfect. Climbing from a modest Rs. 31,130 Crore back in the fiscal year of 2013-14 to a jaw-dropping Rs. 2,76,351 Crore in 2023-24, the budget for 2024-25 has now been set at an even more impressive Rs. 2,78,000 Crore. This financial fuel injection is not just about adding more zeroes to the budget; it’s about transforming the very asphalt of Indian travel.

The impact of this budgetary bonanza is already visible on the ground, with the NH network stretching its limbs by 1.6 times from 91,287 km in March 2014 to a sprawling 1,46,145 km. The Ministry isn’t just laying down roads; they’re laying down the law of luxury travel. Highways are wider, with the length of 4 lane and above NH network more than doubling from 18,371 km in 2014 to a staggering 46,720 km. Meanwhile, less than 2 lane NHs have almost become a rare sight, halving from 27,517 km to 14,350 km, reducing the share of these narrow roads from 30% to a mere 10% of the total NH network.

But wait, there’s more! The Ministry has its sights set on the fast lane, focusing on the development of High-Speed Access controlled NHs to boost the country’s logistics efficiency. Not one to leave any road behind, the policy has been updated to ensure all NHs meet the traffic requirements, with a minimum of Two Lane with paved shoulders standards, except in the ecologically sensitive Himalayan region. Here, plans are being carefully laid out, considering the delicate balance of geological and environmental factors.

This road revolution was announced by none other than the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today. With this monumental budget increase, India is not just on the road to development; it’s racing towards a future where every journey is a joyride.

Budgetary allocation of the Ministry for development and maintenance of NHs along with NH length constructed, during the last ten years-

Amount in Rs. Crore; Length in km
YearBudgetary AllocationConstructed NH Length
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