Stressing the need to build more express highways in the country in the wake of traffic growth, Road Transport and Highways Ministe r Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said that another 50,000 kms of National Highways would be added to the existing about 1 lakh kms by December.
"Also, the government is aiming to raise the highways building capacity to 30 kms per day by March end," he said.
"We witness 5 lakh accidents on roads every year in which 1.50 lakh people die. We have analyzed the reasons behind these accidents. We found the number of vehicles is on rise on continuous basis while addition of road is lesser. There is a need for developing new highways in the country," Gadkari said.
He was addressing a gathering in Sonipat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of three highway projects (341 kms long) worth Rs 13,802 crore at the Rajiv Gandhi Education City at Rai.
The minister also underscored the need for developing more national highways in the country.
"We have road strength of 48 lakh kms in the country and out of which 96,000 kms are national highways. We will increase the strength of national highways from 96,000 kms to 1.50 lakh kms by coming December," he said.
"The existing highways would be widened," he said, adding that road projects worth Rs 32,000 crore were being undertaken in Haryana.
Gadkari said that Eastern Peripheral expressway would be the first access-controlled project in the country where vehicles would be able to run at a speed of 120 kms per hour.
Delhi will be the biggest gainer with the coming up of both Eastern Peripheral expressway highway and Western Peripheral expressway highways.
"Delhi will be the biggest gainer as traffic problem will ease, level of pollution will come down and number of accidents will drop," he said, adding that states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana will be benefited with these highway projects.
Gadkari further said that his ministry would also commence work on Delhi to Meerut Expressway this month which will be a 14-lane project.
"The work on this project will start soon and this road will be 14-laned which will be for the time," he said.
Gadkari added that a decision has also been taken to develop transport hub, educational and other hubs alongside the new expressways.
"Amenities like petrol pump, helipads, restaurants, fruits and vegetables pavilions, entertainment, dhabas for truck drivers, will come up on the roadside which will generate employment," he said.