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NHAI global arm to build roads in Iran, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan

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The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will soon set up a separate global bodyNHAI International with an aim to build roads and highways in Iran, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

Background:

Recently, Iranian foreign Minister met the roads minister in Delhi and requested him to take up the roads and highways construction projects in Iran. Similar proposals were received from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan too. With an excellent opportunity to go international and to open up a revenue stream for the roads ministry, these tie ups are quite significant.

About NHAI International:

NHAI International will be a set-up outside the existing ambit of NHAI and will have its offices in several countries. It will work as a contractor mostly in neighbouring countries on the same model as railways PSUs – IRCON, Railtel and RITES are undertaking construction and consultancy projects internationally.

Recent Key Initiatives:

The government has decided to increase India’s national highways network to 1.5 lakh km within a year by adding 50,000 km more to the existing network. Roads ministry is already in the process to increase its road building capacity with the target of achieving 30 km of roads construction every day by March 2016.

Furthermore, the ministry has planned to build more than eight expressways at a cost of Rs 16,500 crore and accordingly it is also planning to set up a separate body to undertake its expressways project.

About NHAI:

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is an autonomous agency of the Government of India, responsible for management of a network of over 70,000 km of National Highways in India. It is a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • The NHAI was created through the promulgation of the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. In February 1995, the Authority was formally made an autonomous body.
  • It is responsible for the development, maintenance, management and operation of National Highways, totaling over 92,851.05 km (57,694.97 mi) in length.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Chairman of the NHAI – Raghav Chandra
  • The Minister of Road Transport and Highways – Nitin Gadkari