Highways sector had a budgetary estimate of Rs 57,976 crore for current fiscal 2016-17.
New Delhi: Terming roads, railways and rivers as the "lifeline of our country", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today enhanced the allocation for highways sector by 12 per cent to Rs 64,900 crore for 2017-18.
Highways sector, which has been one of the priority areas of the government, had a budgetary estimate of Rs 57,976 crore for this fiscal, which was revised to Rs 52,447 crore.
"In the road sector, I have stepped up the Budget allocation for highways from Rs 57,976 crore in BE (budgetary estimate) 2016-17 to Rs 64,900 crore in 2017-18," Jaitley said while tabling the Budget.
"Railways, roads and rivers are the lifeline of our country," he said. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Budget will give a big boost to infrastructure sector, specially highways.
He said highways sector continues to be a focus area for the government and announcements of multi-modal logistics parks and multi-modal passenger stations will be a game changer.
Presenting the Budget, Jaitley said the total length of roads, including those under PMGSY (Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna), built from 2014-15 till the current year is about 1,40,000 kms, which is significantly higher than previous three years.
Besides, 2,000 kms of coastal connectivity roads have been identified for construction and development. "This will facilitate better connectivity with ports and remote villages," he said.
The minister said the pace of construction of PMGSY roads has accelerated to reach 133 km roads per day in 2016-17, as against an average of 73 km during the period 2011-2014.
"We have also taken up the task of connecting habitations with more than 100 persons in left wing extremism affected blocks," Jaitley said, adding, "We have committed to complete the current target under PMGSY by 2019."
An allocation of Rs 19,000 crore in 2017-18 has been provided for this scheme. Together with the contribution of states, an amount of Rs 27,000 crore will be spent on PMGSY in 2017-18.