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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for rehabilitation and upgradation of two-lane or two-lane with paved shoulders or four-lane configuration (two-lane/single/intermediate lane) and strengthening of stretches of various National Highways covering a total length of over 780 km in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
The project involves investment of Rs 7,662.47 crore, which includes a loan component of Rs 3,500 crore (US$ 500 million). The loan assistance of the World Bank will be under Green National Highways Corridor Project (GNHCP). The project also includes the maintenance of these National Highways stretches for five years (in the case of flexible pavement) and 10 years (in the case of rigid pavement) after completion of construction.
The project comprises following four components:
Apart from construction of these highways the project would include strengthening of the Highway/Bridge Engineering Lab in the IAHE (Indian Academy of Highway Engineers) for testing of materials to assess quality of works and impact of interventions in climate resilience; enhancement of road safety through safety audits at design, implementation and operation and maintenance stages; capacity building of Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), Pune, for crash investigation; and Research and development studies on relevant topics, namely:
As per a release by PIB, The projects have been selected based on the necessity of providing smooth and motorable roads after considering the socio-economic needs of the region. The external factors like the nature and quantum of local produce of the region, logistic infrastructure available to carry the produce and the requirement for connecting local population with the mainstream region, etc, have been considered. After completion of these stretches, there would be reduced travel time for vehicular traffic. The valuable working hours of the people will be saved. The efficiency of the public will be increased considerably. Secondly, the wear and tear of the fast moving vehicles will be minimised because of the smooth movement of vehicular traffic, besides resulting in saving in fuel consumption, said the PIB release. The selected stretches are passing through industrial areas, rich agricultural belt, tourist places, religious places, and areas which are backward in terms of growth and income. After completion of this project, the connectivity will be improved which help to generate more revenue for the States as well as income for the local public. The construction period for the project stretches will be two to three years and maintenance period will be five years for flexible payment roads and 10 years for rigid payment road (one stretch in Rajasthan only).
This project will set new standards for Green Highway Projects in the form of green cover, utilisation of reusable material in laying roads, etc.