The Indian government is all set to upgrade around 3,700 kilometers of National Highways (NHs) under the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP) by investing a total amount of around Rs 20,000 crore.
The project, to be executed by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, would involve double-laning of single-lane highways in 8 states in the next 3 years. A senior ministry official said that around 80 per cent of the funding would come from the World Bank (WB), with the government providing the rest.
The project will help the government achieve its target of building 20 km road a day, set by Union Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath, last year. Around 33 stretches had been identified in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The first phase of the development would cover 807 km in Bihar, 667 km in Karnataka and 640 km in Himachal Pradesh. The other major gainers would be Orissa (662 km) and Uttarakhand (448 km). The ministry had previously announced that around 12,000 single-lane NHs would be converted to two-lane, with paved shoulders, in one go. Till date, 15,000 km of NH have been upgraded by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP).