India plans to set a target of 60km per day of highway construction to ensure quick recovery of its economy from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The state-run company National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) recently completed the construction of 3,979km of national highways in the financial year of 2019-20.

It was the highest ever highway construction achieved by India in a fiscal year.

In fiscal year 2019, the state-run company built 3,380km of national highways.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkar was quoted by PTI as saying, “Earlier, I had kept a target of 30km per day for construction of highways and we have achieved it. Now I am thinking of taking it to 60km per day. The speed of the development of road projects should be two-three times faster.

“Unless liquidity is generated from the country’s infrastructure, be it the development of water systems, power, transport, communications, railways, shipping and ports, we will not be able to grow. Infrastructure development leads to job creation, which will improve the country’s per capita income and accelerate the economy.”

The government’s Bharatmala Pariyojana scheme includes the construction of about 65,000km of national highways. Under the first phase, the government gave its approval for the construction of 34,800km of highways within five years.

In March, the Union Government of India has approved a proposal for the rehabilitation and upgrade of 780km of national highways with an investment of Rs7.66bn ($930.5m).

The highways run across four states: Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

The project is aimed at providing smoother, improved roads, which will ultimately help in boosting the local economy.

In February, the government announced its plans to raise funds by monetising more than 6,000km of highways before 2024.