With reference to the National Highway of India, consider the following statements. 1. It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Road and Transport. 2. NHAI is mandated to implement Bharatmala Project which is India’s largest ever Highways Project.
National Highways Authority of India was set up by an act of the Parliament, NHAI Act, 1988 “An Act to provide for the constitution of an Authority for the development, maintenance and management of national highways and for matter connected therewith or incidental thereto”. It has been entrusted with National Highways Development Project, which along with other minor projects, has vested in it 50329 Kms of National Highways for development, maintenance and management. Our objective is to ensure that all contract awards and procurements conform to the best industry practices with regard to transparency of process, adoption of bid criteria to ensure healthy competition in award of contracts, implementation of projects conform to best quality requirements and the highway system is maintained to ensure best user comfort and convenience.
National Highways are the arterial roads of the country for inter-state movement of passengers and goods. They traverse the length and width of the country connecting the National and State capitals, major ports and rail junctions and link up with border roads and foreign highways. The total length of NH (including expressways) in the country at present is 1,00,087.08 kms. While Highways/Expressways constitute only about 1.7% of the length of all roads, they carry about 40% of the road traffic.
NHAI is mandated to implement National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever Highways Project in a phased manner. The National Highways have a total length of 72,000 (approx.) km to serve as the arterial network of the country. Although National Highways constitute only about 2 per cent of the road network, it carries 40 per cent of the total road traffic. Rapid expansion of passenger and freight traffic makes it imperative to improve the road network in the country. Accordingly, Government of India launched major initiatives to upgrade and strengthen National Highways through various phases of National Highways Development Project (NHDP).
Bharatmala Project is the second largest highways construction project in the country since NHDP, under which almost 50,000 km or highway roads were targeted across the country. Bharatmala will look to improve connectivity particularly on economic corridors, border areas and far flung areas with an aim of quicker movement of cargo and boosting exports.
Bharatmala includes economic corridors of around 9,000 km, inter-corridor and feeder routes of around 6,000 km, 5,000 km roads under the National Corridors Efficiency Program, border and international connectivity roads of around 2,000 km, coastal and port connectivity roads of around 2,000 km, expressways of around 800 km and 10,000 km of NHDP roads. The total length in phase 1 comes to around 34,800 km.