The road network in the country has increased substantially in the current fiscal compared to previous years, the Economic Survey 2021-22 said.
It said that there has been a consistent increase in the construction of National Highways/roads since 2013-14 with 13,327 km of roads constructed in 2020-21 as compared to 10,237 kms in 2019-20, indicating an increase of 30.2 per cent over the previous year. In 2021-22 (till September), 3,824 kms of road network were constructed.
The extent of road construction per day increased substantially in 2020-21 to 36.5 km per day from 28 km per day in 2019-20, a rise by 30.4 percent as compared to the previous year.
The Survey said that the road transport is one of the most cost-effective and convenient mods of transportation in India, both for freight and passengers as it has a high penetration level with door-to-door delivery.
The importance of road infrastructure is widely recognised as a potent means of socio-economic integration and is vital for the economic development of the country, it said.
The road network of the country consists of National Highways, State Highways, district roads, rural roads, urban roads, and project Roads of over 63.71 lakh km of roads (Provisional) as on March 31 2019, which is the second-largest in the world, after the US with 66.45 lakh km of roads.
“The significant upturn in road construction in 2020-21 is due to the increase in public expenditure by 29.5 per cent as compared to the previous year – a reflection of the impetus given by the Government of India to a critical sector that generates employment and supports infrastructure during a pandemic year,” the Survey said.
Apart from the National Highways, the government has taken measures to address village level road network through the Gram Sadak Yojana, it said.