The government is planning to make 44 highway stretches totalling 27,000 km to be developed as “economic corridors” for seamless movement of cargo vehicles, cut delays, deepen economic activities and create jobs.
- This will be the biggest highway expansion plan since the rolling out of Golden Quadrilateral and North South East West Corridor, totalling 13,000 km during the Vajpayee regime.
- The new stretches pass through and connect major hubs of economic activities such as manufacturing clusters and ports.
- It will help in decongesting 30 top cities in the country by building ring roads and logistics hubs along these corridors.
- The new plan is expected to be completed in six years. The government is exploring several funding options, including road development cess, loans from agencies and also private investment.
- The government is also planning to develop another 15,000 km as feeder routes to these economic corridors. 40 interconnecting corridors will also be developed to link 44 economic corridors and the Golden Quadrilateral. This network will carry 80% of the country’s freight.
- The government will also rebrand national highways as national corridors, economic corridors and feeder roads, a move aimed at helping in navigation and identifying the roads. The corridors have been identified using satellite imagery.