Roads and Highways

  • India has the second-largest road network in the world at about 62.16 lakh km.32
  • The National Highways/ Expressways measure 1,36,440 km and State Highways measure 1,76,818 km and Other Roads measure 59,02,539 km in FY 2020-21. 32
  • Ministry of Roads and Highways constructed 34 Km of National Highways per day in 2020-21.
  • India have a world record of making 38 KMs per day his target is going upto more than 100 KMs per day.
  • The implementation agencies of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways include: 3
    • National Highways Authority of India
    • State/Union Territories Public Works Departments
    • National Highway and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited
    • Border Roads Organization
    • Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE)
  • Historically, the government has been the primary stakeholder in investments in the transport sector. However, to boost private sector participation, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has laid down comprehensive policy guidelines for private companies to participate in the development of National Highways. 3
  •  Highest ever construction of 34 km per day of National Highways in 2020-21.28
  • 12,205.25 km National Highways constructed in India during FY 2020-21.28
  • Ministry has constructed 1,470 km of National Highways in May 2021 as compared t 847 km in May 2020.
Reasons to Invest
  • The Government offers various incentives to attract Private Investment and Foreign Direct Investment in the roads and highways sector. The Government bears the following costs: 4
    • Duty-free import of high capacity and modern road construction equipment
    • 100% tax exemption in any consecutive 10 years out of 20 years after commissioning of the project
    • Subsidy up to 40 % of the project cost to make project viable
    • Environment clearance, cutting of trees, etc.
    • Shifting of utilities
    • Land for the right of way and wayside amenities
    • Project Feasibility Study
  • About USD 1.4 Tn will be invested on infrastructure in India from 2020 to 2025. The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) set up by the government unveils the infrastructure projects across various states which will receive this funding. To build domestic capacity and enhance execution by private sector participants, NIP promotes collaborations and joint ventures with strong global infrastructure developers. Roads and Highways will receive total funding of about USD 26.9 Bn under the NIP projects. About 39 of these projects are proposed to be implemented by the private sector. 5
  • The Government of India is in the process of implementing various roads and highway projects. Some of the projects that have been implemented/are being implemented are as follows: 6
    • Bharatmala Pariyojana: The Bharatmala Pariyojana is the country’s largest ever highways development programme. It aims to optimize the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. Multi-nodal integration is one of the key focuses of this programme. “Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I” has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for construction/ up-gradation of National Highways of 34,800 km length over a period of 5 years (2017-18 to 2021-22) at a cost of about INR 5.35 lakh cr.
    • Components under Bharatmala Phase 1 are: 6
      • Economic Corridors Development: Length - 9,000 km Investment Outlay: INR 1.2 lakh cr
      • Inter-corridor and feeder roads - Length: 6,000 km Investment Outlay: INR 80,000 cr
      • National Corridors Efficiency Improvements Length - 5,000 km Investment Outlay: INR 1 lakh cr
      • Border and International Connectivity Roads: Length - 2,000 km Investment Outlay: INR 25,000 cr
      • Coastal and Port Connectivity Roads Length - 2,000 km Investment Outlay: INR 20,000 cr
      • Expressways Length - 800 km Investment Outlay - INR 40,000 cr
      • It is estimated that more than 35 cr man-days of employment shall be generated under Phase-I of the programme.
      • Integration of Multi transport mode has also been built into the Bharatmala Programme and includes the development of 35 Multi-modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) at various locations across the country. These MMLPs are being developed on a 'Hub and Spoke' model and being implemented by NHAI and NHIDCL (in North-East India)
    • Setu Bharatam: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has envisaged a plan for replacement of Level Crossings on National Highways by ROBs/ RUBs under a scheme, Setu Bharatam. 7
  • The government has taken many e-initiatives such as Bhoomi Rashi Porta, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Project-eDISHA, E-tolling to simplify the processes in the roads and highways sector and bring transparency to it. 6
  • Ministry has constructed 2,284 km of National Highways up to June 2021-22 as compared to 1,823 km last year.


Explore more about infrastructure availability in Roads and Highways sector 

Recent Announcements

16th September 2021: Shri Nitin Gadkari reviews the progress of work on Delhi-Mumbai Expressway at Sohna in Haryana, Dausa and Bundi in Rajasthan, Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh

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15th September 2021: Shri Nitin Gadkari to review the progress of Delhi-Mumbai Expressway on 16th – 17th September covering the States of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat

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15th September 2021: Shri Nitin Gadkari says the US and India have an important role to play in the post Covid 19 economic recovery

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09th September 2021: Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that Emergency Landing Facilities will be developed at 19 other places to strengthen country’s security.

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08th September 2021: Cabinet approves procurement of 56 C-295MW transport aircraft for Indian Air Force

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  • 10,855 km of National Highways have been constructed in 2018-19, as against 9,829 km during 2017-18. 8
  • The number of road accidents has fallen from 480,652 in 2016 to 464,910 in 2017.9 
  • The number of fatalities has fallen from 150,785 to 147,913.10
  • More than 52,000 km length of road projects, costing more than USD 77.33 Bn are in progress as of March 2019.11
  • Under the Setu Bharatam scheme, out of the 174 ROBs/RUBs which are to be constructed, 91 have been sanctioned with an estimated cost of USD 947.30 Mn. 12
  • With the introduction of the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system, banks have collectively issued 45.55 lakh FASTags with 8.66 lakhs average daily ETC transaction as on 31st March 2019. 12
  • In FY 20 the total investment in roadways had increased to INR 1,72,767 cr as compared to INR 51,935 cr in FY 15.29
  • Average annual construction (average annual construction length) during FY2015 to FY2021 has increased by 83% compared to FY2010 to FY2014.
  • The cumulative cost of ongoing project works has increased by 54% at the end of Financial Year 2021 compared to Financial Year 2020 (as on March 31st).
Growth Drivers
  • The Government of Meghalaya signed $120 mn project with World Bank to improve and modernise the transport sector in Meghalaya. This project will harness the growth potential for high-value agriculture and tourism.24
  •  Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs,  Shri Nitin Gadkari, initiated the ceremonial blasting for Zozila Tunnel in J&K which will provide all-weather connectivity between Srinagar valley and Leh (Ladakh plateau) on NH-1, and will bring about an all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of UTs of J&K and Ladakh.26 
  • ln the month of November 2020, Standing Finance Committee (SFC) approved 6 projects of length 258.19 Km and total capital cost of INR 5,305.13 cr.27 
  • Ministry proposes to develop additional 60,000 km of National Highways in the next five years, of which 2500 km are Expressways /Access Controlled Highways, 9000 km Economic Corridors, 2000 km for Coastal and Port Connectivity Highways and 2000 km Border Road/ Strategic Highways. The Ministry also intends to improve connectivity for 100 tourist destinations and construct Bypasses for 45 towns/cities during this period.28
  • The use of Stainless Stell in Bridges on NH  and other centrally sponsored Projects to be constructed in marine Environment Susceptible to Severe Corrosion.
  • Under Ministry of Roads and Highways, DFCCIL is constructing the Western DFC (1,504 Route km) and Eastern DFC (1,856 route km) including PPP section of Sonnagar-Dankuni Section.
FDI Policy
  • 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed under the automatic route in the road and highways sector, subject to applicable laws and regulation. 13


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Sector Policy
  • Development and maintenance of road infrastructure is a key Government priority, the sector has received strong budgetary support over the years.
  • Standardised processes for PPP and public funded projects and a clear policy framework relating to bidding and tolling have been developed over the years.
  • Major policy initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) are:
    • Provision of funds to the State Government for development of state roads as per the Central Road Fund Act 2000, amended by Finance Act from time to time.
    • Introduction of Electronic Toll Collection System, FASTag by MoRTH. 
    • Implementation of Value Engineering Programme in 2017 to promote use of new technologies, materials and equipment in highway projects executed either under PPP or public funding mode.
    • Automation of Regional Transport Offices under Transportation Mission Mode Project. It envisages creation of a consolidated transport database. The two flagship applications under the project are VAHAN (Vehicle Registration, Taxation, Permit, Fitness and associated services) and SARATHI (Driving License, Learner License, Driving Schools and related activities).
    • To fast track approval process, enhanced powers to NHAI, specifically for EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and PPP (Build-Operate-Transfer) projects where no Viability Gap Funding is involved.
    • Project Monitoring Information System introduced by NHAI for tracking the status of all projects, preparation of reports and online upload of important project documents like DPRs and contract documents, etc.
  • Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines issued the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to regulate shared mobility and reducing traffic congestion and pollution.25 


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Financial Support

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

The Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) with an aim to provide connectivity to unconnected habitations as part of a poverty reduction strategy.14

About USD 2.6 Bn has been allocated to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna in the Union Budget 2020-21.15


Key Highlights of the Union Budget 2020-21

  • The union budget allocation towards the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is USD 12.24 Bn.16

The revenue expenditure stands at USD 1.26 Bn and the capital expenditure stands at USD 10.93 Bn.17

  • The total budget allocation towards the National Highways Authority of India stands at USD 5.67 Bn.18
Investment Opportunities

The investment opportunities in the sector include:

  • Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway: A road length of 352 km through Kim, Talasari, Vasai and Thane to be developed. Work has already been awarded for a stretch of 124 km for Vadodara-Kim sector and bids invited for 228 km between Kim and Virar. 19
  • Bharatmala Pariyojna: Road projects of length 9674 km have already been awarded while the bidding is open for projects with a length of 3555 km. 20
  • Toll-Operate-Transfer Model: The Ministry is raising funds by monetizing road assets constructed using public funds by way of the Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) scheme. Under the scheme, bidding of bundled national highways for a concession period of 30 years. 21


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Foreign Investors
  • CIDBI Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • ERA-SIBMOST (Russia)
  • Essel Infra & CR-18 Consortium (China)
  • Gamuda Malaysia 0 WCT Malaysia (Malaysia)
  • GMR-Tuni-Ankapalli Express Ltd (Malaysia)
  • Hindustan Construction Company Ltd-Laing Sadbhav Consortium (UK)
Key Achievements
  • In the first nine months of 2019-20, 6,940 km length of National Highway have been completed against 6,703 km for the corresponding period during the last financial year.22
  • Foundation Stone was laid off for 9 highway projects23 worth INR 14,000 cr in Bihar. This include 

1. Bakhtiyarpur-Rajauli section of NH-31 (pkg-2),
2. Bakhtiyarpur-Rajauli section of NH-31 (pkg-3), 3. Ara-parariya section of NH-30, 
4. parariya-Mohania section of NH-30, 
5. Narenpur-purnea Section of NH-131A, 
6. Patna-Ring Road PKG-l (Kanuti-Ramnagar) of NH131 G, 
7. construction of new 14.5 km four-lane bridge with its approaches across river Ganga on NH-19 at patna, 
8. construction of new 28.93 km 4-[ane bridge across river Kosi on NH-106, of new 4.445 km 4-tane bridge (parattet to existing Vikramshila setu) across river Ganga on NH-1318.

  • Modification in the Model Concession Agreement and modified Request for proposal document of Totting, Operation, Maintenance and Transfer mode has been issued on 22.09.2020. This will facilitate investments by infrastructure Debt Funds in Road Sector projects.23
  • NHAI contractor has created a World Record for the laying of Pavement Quality Concrete (PQC) for a four-lane highway of 2,580 meters length within 24 hours.30
  • Over the last 7 years, the length of National Highways has gone up by 50% from 91,287 km (as of April 2014) to 1,37,625 km (as of 20 March 2021).
  • Total budgetary outlay increased by 5.5 times, from INR 33,414 Cr in Financial Year 2015 to INR 1,83,101 Cr in Financial Year 2022.


  2. PIB Release,
  3. PIB Release,
  4. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  5. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  6. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  7. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  8. National Infrastructure Pipeline, Report of the Task Force, Department of Economic Affairs Ministry of Finance,
  9. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  10. Setu Bharatam, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  11. “Ministry of Road Transport and Highways”, Annual Report 2018-19,
  12. “Ministry of Road Transport and Highways”, Annual Report 2018-19,
  13. “Ministry of Road Transport and Highways”, Annual Report 2018-19,
  14. “Ministry of Road Transport and Highways”, Annual Report 2018-19,
  15. “Ministry of Road Transport and Highways”, Annual Report 2018-19,
  16. Consolidated FDI Policy,
  17. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Online Management, Monitoring and Accounting System (OMMAS),
  18. Expenditure Profile (Centrally Sponsored Schemes), India Budget website,
  19. Expenditure Profile (Expenditure of Ministries and Departments), India Budget website,
  20. Expenditure Profile (Expenditure of Ministries and Departments), India Budget website,
  21. Expenditure Profile (Central Sector Schemes), India Budget website,
  22. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  23. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  24. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  25. Annual Report 2019-20, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  26. Monthly Report, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  27. PIB Release,
  28. PIB Release,
  29. Monthly Report, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 20 October,2020)_0001%20(1).pdf
  30. Monthly Report, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways,
  31. PIB Release,
  32. Annual Report,

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