The 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 addition, the Highway / Bridge Engineering Lab in the IAHE (Indian Academy of Highway Engineers) will be strengthened as part of the project.

The project will also include boosting road safety through safety audits at the design, implementation and operation and maintenance stages, as well as building the capacity of the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) in Pune to investigate crashes.

It will also feature research and development studies on topics such as the stabilisation of soils and pavement layers, the use of fly ash and demolition waste in embankments, the use of waste plastic and modifiers in bituminous works, and slope protection with bio-engineering solutions.

In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said: “The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for rehabilitation and upgradation of two-lane / two-lane with paved shoulders / four-lane configurations, and strengthening of stretches of various national highways covering a total length of over 780km in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.”

Out of the $930m, $500m will drawn through a loan. World Bank will provide the loan for the project under the Green National Highways Corridor Project (GNHCP).

Earlier this year, The National Highways Authority of India launched an initiative to remove all speed bumps from national highways for hassle-free traffic movement, especially on toll booths.