Celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, NHAI Chairperson Smt. Alka Upadhyaya inaugurated a two-day conference of Regional Officers in Kochi,Kerala. This is a first of its kind initiative that brings together NHAI officials and regional stakeholders from Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu onto a common platform to share knowledge, achievements and challenges.
Apart from project reviews, the conference also hosted an ‘Open House’ for free-flowing discussion of NHAI Regional Officers and Project Directors with the Chairperson. A knowledge sharing session on ‘Sustainability in Construction – Building Better Roads’ was also conducted.
In her special address, NHAI Chairperson Smt.Upadhyaya shared an overview of various initiatives that are being taken by NHAI under the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ program that include creation of various ‘Amrit sarovar’ or Ponds near National highways that will help to rejuvenate water bodies and ground water. She also laid emphasis on using innovating new ways to build ecologically sustainable infrastructure framework and highlighted aspects related to road safety, strengthening last mile connectivity and enhancing the overall experience of the highway commuter.
NHAI is implementing Bharatmala Pariyojana, India’s largest highway infrastructure program with development of 34,800 km of National Highway corridors out of which 31,621 km length of projects have been mandated for implementation by NHAI. Development of 22 Greenfield expressways and access-controlled corridors is a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana with length of 8,400 km and capital cost of Rs. 3.6 Lakh crore.
Till date, 20,473 km which is almost 65 percent of the total length of the program with a total capital cost of Rs. 644,678 crore has been awarded by NHAI.
NHAI has been expanding National Highways to further augment the road infrastructure of India. So far in the State of Kerela, construction of 177 km road network has been completed by NHAI and construction work of another 403 km of road project worth Rs. 34,972 Crore is ongoing. In addition, NHAI is also planning to commence six projects of about 187 km length worth Rs 21,271 crore in a couple of months. Apart from these, new projects are proposed which will include 120 km long Palakkad – Malappuram – Kozhikode Greenfield Highway, 59 km long Shenkottai – Kollam Greenfield Highway and a 12.34 km long elevated Highway between Thuravoor to Aroor in Alappuzha District. All these projects will not only improve the connectivity within the State but also boost the economy.
NHAI is not only constructing National Highways of world class standard but is also focusing on constructing accident-free National Highways. NHAI has been identifying black spots (Place of high accident) in construction with Police Department of Government of Kerala and recently 214 black spots have been identified. Short term measures have been completed at all these locations. Long term measures like construction of foot-over bridges or widening of roads at 156 blackspots locations are being implemented.
Beyond highways, NHAI is also looking at developing holistic and integrated infrastructure framework. Initiatives such as ‘PM Gati Shakti’ – National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity. To strengthen country’s logistics infrastructure, 35 Multi- Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) are being developed by NHAI through the National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), 100% owned SPV of NHAI.
NHAI is also actively collaborating with state governments and other stakeholders for implementing Parvatmala, the National Ropeways Development Program which envisions development of Ropeways to facilitate last mile connectivity and develop tourism & transportation in the hilly regions.
NHAI is committed to develop the National Highways Infrastructure at a rapid pace and envisions to provide safe, smooth, and seamless travel experience on National Highways.