Highways Ministry starts site selection for mega-road projects

New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has started the site selection process for the proposed mega-road projects in the country.

Minister for Road Transport and Highways Kamal Nath last year announced the setting up of mega-road projects in the country, entailing an investment of about Rs 5,000 crore each. These projects would help in the road-building programme of the government.

"Process of project (mega road project) selection is on," a road ministry official said.

He said, "The cost of one project is estimated to be around Rs 5,000 crore and the length about 500 km and we would take up 3-4 projects initially."

The cost of constructing one kilometre of road varies from Rs 6 crore to Rs 16 crore, depending upon the condition of the roads.

The government has set a target for constructing 35,000 km of highways in the next five years under the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP), which will require an estimated investment of about USD 60 billion. Out of this, USD 40 billion will come from the private sector.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has estimated its annual borrowings from the domestic and international market to be more than Rs 4.3 billion for the next 15 years.