Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting the Union Budget 2021-22, pledged that the Centre will award national highway projects to the tune of 8,500 km by March 2022 and complete an additional 11,000 km of National Highway Corridor. To this end, Ms. Sitharaman announced projects in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal and Assam.
The Minister said that this will be in addition to over 13,000 km roadwork awarded under the Centrally sponsored Bharatmala Pariyojana project, of which 3,800 km had already been constructed. More economic corridors are being planned to boost infrastructure, she said.
In Tamil Nadu, 3,500 km of national highway works have been proposed at an investment of ₹1.03 lakh crore, including the construction of the Madurai-Kollam economic corridor. In Kerala, 1,100 km of national highways have been proposed at an investment of ₹65,000 crore. This includes the 600 km-section of the Mumbai-Kanyakumari corridor.
In poll-bound West Bengal, ₹25,000 crore has been set aside for 675 km highway works, including the re-development of Kolkata-Siliguri highway. In Assam, Ms. Sitharaman announced that 1,300 kmsof national highway will be built in the coming three years.
She added that an enhanced outlay of ₹1,18,101 crore had been set aside for ports and highways.