India will invest as much as Rs 5.97 trillion in creating and upgrading infrastructure in the next financial year. As part of the new integrated infrastructure planning model, the government has allocated the largest-ever rail and road budget of `1.48 trillion and `1.21 trillion, respectively in 2018-19. The ambitious projects like Bharatmala (roads) and Sagarmala will be on track to improve transport infrastructure.
“We are confident about completing national highways exceeding 9000km length during 2017-18,” the Finance Minister said.
The country has a road network of 3.3 million km, the second largest globally. India has been constructing highways at a rate of 27-28km per day, with the aim of speeding up the construction rate to 41km per day.
The finance minister also announced the government’s new roadmap for infrastructure, which included plans to introduce seaplanes and a passenger-friendly toll policy.
Apart from creating infrastructure for seaplanes to boost connectivity, the push will also be towards the government’s regional connectivity scheme, that has already connected 16 new airports and aims to connect 56 unserved airports and 31 helipads.
The government is keen to expand the metro network in different cities but looking for more external participation for such projects. It has allocated only INR 143.14 billion (US$2.20 billion) in 2018-19 for the expansion of Metro train project in the country, compared to INR 178.10 billion (US$2.74 billion) in 2017-18.
India ‘s Smart Cities Mission aims at building 100 Smart Cities with stateof- the-art amenities and has selected 99 Cities in the Phase-I. The cities are investing in projects related to Smart Command and Control Centre (60 projects to be implemented in 60 cities), Smart Roads (115 projects to be implemented in 60 cities), Solar Rooftops, Intelligent Transport Systems, Smart Parks. The government has proposed total investment of INR 2.04 trillion (US$32 billion) in 2018-19.