The Government of India has allocated a total of Rs802.5bn ($11.71bn) to strengthen the country’s road infrastructure.

In her debut budget speech, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that funds will be used to modernise nearly 125,000km of roads over the next five years.

Funds will be provided under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), a scheme of the federal government that aims to provide connectivity to unconnected regions across the country.

Sitharaman said the government had so far provided all-weather connectivity to more than 97 regions in rural areas under PMGSY.

Sitharaman said: “PMGSY has brought many socio-economic gains in the rural areas. To accelerate the speed of achieving universal connectivity of eligible habitations, the target of connecting the eligible and feasible habitations was advanced from 2022 to 2019.”

She added that the target of linking the 97 regions had been made possible by constructing 130km to 135km of road a day in the last 1,000 days.

Nearly 30,000km of roads had been built under the scheme using green technology, waste plastic and cold mix technology, the Finance Minister revealed.

In addition, the minister said that the state road networks will be developed in the second phase of Bharatmala project.

Furthermore, Sitharaman announced an expenditure of Rs100bn ($1.46bn) for a period of three years to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country.

The government has decided to offer an upfront rebate on the purchase of electric vehicles and create necessary charging infrastructure to boost adoption.

Indian Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the promotion of electric vehicles and allied infrastructure is set to transform the economy and logistics sector.

Gadkari told Financial Express: “It is one of the biggest steps to curb pollution and move towards sustainable development.”