Expressing commitment to augment the country's infrastructure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said projects for building 8,500 km of highways will be awarded by March 2022. While presenting the Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament, the finance minister said poll-bound West Bengal will see highway projects worth Rs 25,000 crore. "To further augment road infrastructure, 8,500 km of road and highway projects will be awarded by March 2022," Sitharaman said in her Budget Speech.
She also announced that highway projects worth Rs 65,000 crore will be undertaken in Kerala. Besides, Rs 25,000 crore will also be spent in West Bengal, she added.
The FM also announced an allocation of Rs 3,400 crore for road projects in Assam.
She also announced an Rs 18,000-crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas.
Last month, Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari had said his ministry aims at taking road building target to 40 km a day by March. He added that the NHAI has a target to build 60,000 km of highways in the next five years, including 2,500 km of express highways.
These include 9,000 km of economic corridors and 2,000 km each of strategic border roads and coastal roads. Besides these, 100 tourist destinations and 45 towns would be connected through highways.
Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2021-22 on Monday, which was approved by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today.
Sitharaman, who had in her first budget in 2019 replaced leather briefcase that had been for decades used for carrying budget documents with a traditional red cloth 'bahi-khata', had earlier this month stated that the budget for the fiscal year beginning April will be "like never before".
It has to be a vision statement, a roadmap to get the world's fastest-growing major economy back on track.