NEW DELHI: The government on Friday approved a proposal for the development of 780 km of national highways in four states at a cost of Rs 7,660 crore.

This project will set new standards for green highway projects in the form of green cover, utilisation of reusable material in laying roads etc.

The project investment includes Rs 3,500 crore assistance from the World Bank under Green National Highways Corridor Project (GNHCP).

“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for Rehabilitation and Upgradation of 2-Lane/2-Lane with paved shoulders/4-Lane configuration and strengthening of stretches of various National Highways covering a total length of over 780 km in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh,” Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.

The project involves investment of Rs 7,662.47 crore which includes a loan component of Rs 3,500 crore (USD 500 million), the statement said adding, the loan assistance of the World Bank will be under Green National Highways Corridor Project (GNHCP).

The project also includes the maintenance of these National Highways stretches for five years after completion of construction.

The project comprises components like sustainable development and maintenance of National Highways, Institutional Capacity Enhancement, Road Safety and Research and Development.

Apart from construction of these highways the project would include strengthening of the Highway/Bridge Engineering Lab in the IAHE (Indian Academy of Highway Engineers) for testing of materials to assess quality of works and impact of interventions in climate resilience among other factors, the statement said.

The projects have been selected based on the necessity of providing smooth and motorable roads after considering the socio-economic needs of the region, the statement said.

The selected stretches are passing through industrial areas, rich agricultural belt, tourist places, religious places, and areas which are backward in terms of growth and income.

After completion of this project, the connectivity will be improved which will help generate more revenue for the states as well as income for local public, it said.

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