In the Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman allocated special funds for the road and highway development project for the three states of Kerela, Assam and West Bengal. All of these three states are gearing up for elections in 2021.
In the first paperless budget, the FM allocated 65,000 crores for road and highway projects in the state of Kerala, 25,000 crores for the same in the state of West Bengal and 3,400 crores for Assam’s infrastructure development in roads and highways. Sitharaman further said that the government would award 8,500 kms of road projects and an additional 11,000 kms of national highway corridors by March 2022. She also announced an Rs 18,000-crore scheme to augment public transport in urban areas, adding that more economic corridors are also being planned.
MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari had said last month that NHAI has a target to build 60,000 km of highways in the next five years, including 2,500 km of express highways. These will benefit the states with 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.
Road infrastructure in Bengal is often an area of concern. It is hoped that plans for boosting of road and highway infrastructure shall be beneficial for transport and economic purposes and enhance communication networks in the state.