The National Highways Development Project is an infrastructure project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India. The project was implemented in 1998. Managed by the National Highways Authority of India under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. Here is the project in detail.
The project is composed of the following phases:
Phase I: The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ; 5,846 km) connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This project connecting four metro cities, would be 5,846 km. Total cost of the project is Rs300 billion (US$6.8 billion), funded largely by the government’s special petroleum product tax revenues and government borrowing. As of January 2009 5,704 km of the intended 5,846 km has been 4 laned.
Phase II: North-South and East-West corridors comprising national highways connecting four extreme points of the country. The North-South and East-West Corridor (NS-EW; 7,300 km) connecting Srinagar in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, including spur from Salem to Kochi (Via Coimbatore), and Silchar in the east to Porbandar in the west. Total length of the network is 7,300 km. As of January 2009, 42% of the project had been completed and 44% of the project work is currently at progress. It also includes Port connectivity and other projects — 1,157 km. The final completion date to February 28, 2009 at a cost of Rs350 billion (US$8 billion), with funding similar to Phase I.
Phase III: The government recently approved NHDP-III to upgrade 12,109 km of national highways on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, which takes into account high-density traffic, connectivity of state capitals via NHDP Phase I and II, and connectivity to centres of economic importance. contracts have been awarded for a 2,075 km.
Phase IV: The government is considering widening 20,000 km of highway that were not part of Phase I, II, or III. Phase IV will convert existing single lane highways into two lanes with paved shoulders. The plan will soon be presented to the government for approval.
Phase V: As road traffic increases over time, a number of four lane highways will need to be upgraded/expanded to six lanes. The current plan calls for upgrade of about 5,000 km of four-lane roads, although the government has not yet identified the stretches.
Phase VI: The government is working on constructing expressways that would connect major commercial and industrial townships. It has already identified 400 km of Vadodara (earlier Baroda)-Mumbai section that would connect to the existing Vadodara (earlier Baroda)-Ahmedabad section. The World Bank is studying this project. The project will be funded on BOT basis. The 334 km Expressway between Chennai—Bangalore (Now called Bengaluru) and 277 km Expressway between Kolkata—Dhanbad has been identified and feasibility study and DPR contract has been awarded by NHAI.
Phase VII: This phase calls for improvements to city road networks by adding ring roads to enable easier connectivity with national highways to important cities. In addition, improvements will be made to stretches of national highways that require additional flyovers and bypasses given population and housing growth along the highways and increasing traffic. The government has not yet identified a firm investment plan for this phase. The 19-km long Chennai Port—Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway is being executed under this phase.