Revised Vision 2047 For Roads: MORTH Plans Highway Expansion With Rs 20 Trillion Investment Post-Election

V Bhagya Subhashini

May 31, 2024, 11:13 AM | Updated 11:12 AM IST


In anticipation of the upcoming government formation, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is revising a cabinet note for a comprehensive highway construction plan, according to Mint report.

The initial proposal, submitted late last year, did not secure approval before the election period commenced.

The early endorsement of the Vision 2047 plan is crucial for initiating the construction of advanced highways, aiming to enhance connectivity nationwide. This plan proposes expressways within 100-125 km of any location, significantly improving travel speed and efficiency.

Encompassing an investment of Rs 20 trillion, Vision 2047 outlines the construction of over 75,000 km of highways in the next 15 years, including 50,000 km of access-controlled highways or expressways.

Currently, only about 4,000 km of such highways have been completed. The plan details five-year and one-year targets, specifying annual objectives and necessary investments.

A significant focus of Vision 2047 is the development of green highways, featuring infrastructure for green mobility. The Delhi-Mumbai expressway project, currently under construction, exemplifies this initiative.

Green highways will include EV charging points, battery swapping stations, tree-lined sides, and shrub-filled medians. Additionally, the plan aims to enhance road safety by incorporating advanced technology to identify and address accident-prone areas and proposes a nationwide cashless treatment scheme for road accident victims.

"The goal is to establish sustainable, efficient, and safe road infrastructure that meets international standards, enhancing connectivity and mobility to spur socio-economic development," stated an official.

The plan also aims to revive private investments in highway projects through the BoT (build, operate, transfer) model, set to expand significantly in FY25 after more than a decade.

Bharatmala integration

Unfinished projects from the Bharatmala-1 initiative will be integrated into the Vision 2047 plan. Launched in 2017, Bharatmala-1 aimed to construct 34,800 km of highways to connect economic centres across India. Contracts for 27,384 km have been awarded so far. The remaining projects will be aligned with Vision 2047, along with an additional 5,000 km planned under Bharatmala Phase-2.

"The highway construction sector in India is poised for robust growth, supported by record government capital expenditure and streamlined processes. This growth will align with modern infrastructure needs, including the development of new green corridors to support the expansion of electric vehicles (EVs)," said Davinder Sandhu, chairman of Primus Partners.

Technological advancements in planning

Vision 2047 will incorporate advanced technological approaches in highway planning. MoRTH has already mapped the national and state highway networks using GIS technology on the PM Gatishakti platform.

By integrating e-way bill data, toll transaction data, and GDP projections for the next 25 years, MoRTH utilised big data analytics to create a transportation model. This model will periodically identify congestion points and recommend road enhancements to alleviate traffic bottlenecks.

The revised Vision 2047 plan is expected to accelerate the development of India’s highway infrastructure, promoting economic growth and enhancing the country's transportation network.

V Bhagya Subhashini is a staff writer at Swarajya. She tracks infrastructure developments.

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