New Highway Construction Increases Eight Fold

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Nov. 26 – The Indian government is planning to establish a national expressway authority to oversee the construction of expressways Kamal Nath, the minister for road transport and highways, said at the International Construction Equipment and Construction Technology Fair in Bangalore.

Mr. Nath said the establishment of the authority would require approval of legislation by Parliament, and would facilitate the building of expressways running for 17,000 kilometers in the next few years. The speed of implementation of the project “would depend on the extent of cooperation offered by state governments.”

According to the minister, about to 8 kilometers roads were being added to the network every day, up from about 1.2 kilometers per day a year ago. “By March 2010 we hope to add 20 kilometers of roads every day,” Mr. Nath said. “ The government has tied up funds until 2010 for these projects.”

India plans to borrow about US$3 billion from the World Bank to fund lane expansion of about 7,000 kilometers of roads. “These proposals are being formulated,” the minister said, noting that “the economic stimulus provided by the construction of roads can spread incomes like no other expenditure.”

Currently about 20,000 km of new roads in India are under construction. The Indian Earthmoving and Construction Industry Association Chairman Ranaveer Sinha said the current annual turnover of the Indian construction equipment industry was about US$4-5 billion, compared to the global turnover of over $100 billion. The Indian segment was likely to double its turnover in the next four to five years, he added.

Investing in India's Public-Private PartnershipsRelated Reading:
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