new Delhi. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is coming up with an ambitious plan to build highways in 117 districts of the country. NHAI plans to spend more than Rs 1 trillion (1 lakh crore) to connect the aspirational districts of the country with the best road facilities. For this, 221 projects have been identified in these districts.
So far, Rs 66,000 crore has been spent on highway construction in these districts. According to a report in Live Mint, two sources associated with NHAI have told that the work on the upcoming plan will start soon. So far, 222 projects related to highways have been completed in these aspirational districts of the country. Now the National Highway Authority of India will spend a total of Rs 1.04 trillion for new highway projects in these districts.
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What is Aspirational Districts Program
The Aspirational District Program was launched four years ago. The objective of these programs is to bring rapid development in the most backward districts of the country. This is being done jointly by the Central and State Governments. NITI Aayog identifies aspirational districts on the basis of criteria such as health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and infrastructure. These are reviewed by the state and central officials in the monthly district ranking.
More highways will be built in these states
Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra Odisha will have maximum number of highways under the Aspirational District Program. Fewer highway projects will come from parts of Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan and some other North Indian states. According to the data of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the aspirational districts have already been connected by highways. Now the expansion works of this program will boost economic activities in these districts.
6575 km highway has been built
In the last five years, about 6575 km of highways have been constructed to connect these aspirational districts. The highway length in these districts will increase to 18000 km in the next five years from the ongoing and further projects. Experts say that connectivity is boosting development in these aspirational districts. About 250 million people live in these districts. Infrastructure expert Vaibhav Dange says that – “Connectivity is the main growth driver in these districts. Because, the best roads help other services to reach these districts faster. This gives a rapid boost to everything like education, health facilities and building materials.”
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increase in budget
In Budget 2022 also, 68 percent more budget has been given to this Ministry of Roads, Highways and Transport. The budget of the ministry in the last budget was 1.18 trillion. In this budget it has been increased to 1.99 trillion. A major part of the increased budget has been given to HHAI. Due to this there has been an increase of 133 percent in its budget and it has increased from Rs 76665 crore to Rs 1.34 trillion. The target of highway construction has also been doubled this year from last year. In the financial year it was 12000 kms which has been increased to 25000 kms.
Tags: NHAI, Road and Transport Ministry
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