Indian government wants you to drive faster on some roads
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways or MoRTH has proposed an increase in speed limits on national highways and expressways. The proposed speed revision is part of the central government's efforts to improve the safety and efficiency of India's transportation infrastructure. The Centre plans to discuss with the state governments before formulating new rules and regulations for various high-speed-capable motorways.
Why does this story matter?
- The transportation infrastructure in India has been developing rapidly over the years.
- New high-speed motorway projects such as the Samruddhi Mahamarg between Nagpur and Mumbai or the newly-opened Mumbai-Delhi Expressway have drastically improved the overall quality of transportation on our shores.
- To further support the development, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has now proposed changes in the speed limits for national highways and expressways.
The speed limit for national highways is set at 100km/h
In 2018, the central government raised the speed limit to 120km/h for expressways and 100 km/h for national highways through a notification. However, in August 2021, the Madras High Court rejected the notification, stating safety concerns. MoRTH appealed the order in the Supreme Court last year and is now planning to discuss the new norms with all state governments for a unified solution.
Lower speed limits on new highways pose mobility challenges
At the recently concluded Zetwerk Smart Manufacturing Summit 2023 in New Delhi, Gadkari said that the lower limits on new highways meant for high-speed mobility pose challenges for commuters. While the ministry is yet to reveal the proposed speed limits, the new norms would classify the speed limit for different types of motorways, including access control highways, 8-lane, 6-lane, 4-lane, and 2-lane highways.
MoRTH plans to achieve a 60km/day target for highway construction
MoRTH has set a target of 60km/day for highway construction in the upcoming financial year. However, given the impact and after-effects of COVID-19 in India, Gadkari further added that the Centre is expecting to achieve highway construction of 40km/day in the current fiscal year. There are no set deadlines for when it will be implemented yet.
Multiple ambitious projects are currently underway
With the Indian automobile industry standing at around Rs. 7.5 trillion, the need for better transportation infrastructure is a must. Many ambitious projects such as the country's first electric highway between Delhi and Jaipur and a double-decker highway from Dhaula Kuan to Manesar are currently in the preliminary stage. MoRTH has also approved around 260 ropeway and cable car projects on our shores.