The center sets a highway construction target of 13,800 km for 2023–2024

The central government has set an interim target for the construction of about 13,800 kilometers of National Highways (NHs) in 2023-24, Union Roads and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari told parliament on Thursday.

Contrary to the annual target, 2,250 km had already been built by June 2023, he said.

Gadkari was asked if the building materials used to build the road were of better quality than those previously used.

“Construction materials used in roadworks today are of better strength/quality compared to materials used in the past. Some examples are higher CBR soils, higher modulus bitumen/modified bitumen, high strength concrete, high strength steel, etc.,” Gadkari said in the written response in Lok Sabha.

The total length of national roads in India has increased by about 59 per cent over the past nine years – since the current government took office – the minister said earlier, noting that the country now has the second largest road network after the US result.

At a press conference in New Delhi in late June, Gadkari said that the total length of National Highways was 91,287 km in 2013-2014 and has now increased to 145,240 km in 2022-23.

In addition, according to Gadkari, there has been a significant increase in toll collection with the introduction of FASTag. The minister further informed that the toll revenue increased from 4,770 crore in 2013-2014 to 41,342 crore in 2022-23. The central government aims to increase toll revenue to Rs.130 trillion by 2030.

Regarding the environmental initiatives taken by the government, the minister pointed out that his ministry used 30,000 tons of waste in road construction for the Delhi Ring Road project, demonstrating a proactive approach to waste management and sustainable infrastructure development.

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