National Highways Development Project

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The National Highways Development Project is a project to upgrade, rehabilitate and widen major highways in India to a higher standard. The project was implemented in 1998 under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "National Highways" account for only about 2% of the total length of roads, but carry about 40% of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country. This project is managed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The NHAI has invested US$71 billion for this project, as of 2006. The NHDP represents 49,260 km of roads and highways work and construction in order to boost economic development of the country.

The Network of National Highways in India

The project is composed of the following phases:

  • Phase I: The Golden Quadrilateral (GQ; 5,846 km) connecting the four major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. This project connecting four metro cities, would be 5,846 km (3,633 mi). Total cost of the project is Rs.300 billion (US$6.8 billion), funded largely by the government’s special petroleum product tax revenues and government borrowing. In January 2012, India announced the four-lane GQ highway network as complete.[1][2]
  • Phase II: North-South and East-West corridors comprising national highways connecting four extreme points of the country. The North–South and East–West Corridor (NS-EW; 7,142 km) connecting Srinagar in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, including spur from Salem to Kanyakumari (Via Coimbatore and Kochi) and Silchar in the east to Porbandar in the west. Total length of the network is 7,142 km (4,438 mi). As of 31 October 2016, 90.99% of the project had been completed, 5.47% of the project work is under Implementation and 3.52% of the total length is left.[3][4] It also includes Port connectivity and other projects — 435 km (270 mi). The final completion date to 28 February 2009 at a cost of Rs.350 billion (US$8 billion), with funding similar to Phase I.
  • Phase III: The government recently approved NHDP-III to upgrade 12,109 km (7,524 mi)of national highways on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, which takes into account high-density traffic, connectivity of state capitals via NHDP Phase I and II, and connectivity to centres of economic importance. Contracts have been awarded for a 2,075 km (1,289 mi).
  • Phase IV: The government is considering widening 20,000 km (12,000 mi) of highway that were not part of Phase I, II, or III. Phase IV will convert existing single-lane highways into two lanes with paved shoulders. The plan will soon be presented to the government for approval.
  • Phase V: As road traffic increases over time, a number of four-lane highways will need to be upgraded/expanded to six lanes. The current plan calls for upgrade of about 5,000 km (3,100 mi) of four-lane roads, although the government has not yet identified the stretches.
  • Phase VI: The government is working on constructing expressways that would connect major commercial and industrial townships. It has already identified 400 km (250 mi) of Vadodara (earlier Baroda)-Mumbai section that would connect to the existing Vadodara (earlier Baroda)-Ahmedabad section. The World Bank is studying this project. The project will be funded on BOT basis. The 334 km (208 mi) Expressway between ChennaiBangalore and 277 km (172 mi) Expressway between KolkataDhanbad has been identified and feasibility study and DPR contract has been awarded by NHAI.
  • Phase VII: This phase calls for improvements to city road networks by adding ring roads to enable easier connectivity with national highways to important cities. In addition, improvements will be made to stretches of national highways that require additional flyovers and bypasses given population and housing growth along the highways and increasing traffic. The government has not yet identified a firm investment plan for this phase. The 19 km (12 mi) long Chennai PortMaduravoyal Elevated Expressway is being executed under this phase.
National Highways Development Project at a glance
NHDP Phase Particulars Length Indicative cost ₹ ( in cr)
NHDP-I & II Balance work of GQ and EW-NS corridors 13,000 km (8,100 mi) 42,000
NHDP-III 4-laning 10,000 km (6,200 mi) 55,000
NHDP-IV 2-laning 20,000 km (12,000 mi) 25,000
NHDP-V 6-laning of selected stretches 5,000 km (3,100 mi) 17,500
NHDP-VI Development of expressways 1,000 km (620 mi) 15,000
NHDP-VII Ring Roads, Bypasses, Grade Separators, Service Roads etc. 700 km (430 mi) 15,000
Total 45,000 km (28,000 mi) 1,69,500 (Revised to 2,20,000)

Note: 1 crore= 10 million

Timeline of the National Highways Development Project
Priority NHDP Phase Length (km) Status Approval Completion
1 Phase I 5,846 km (3,633 mi) Fully complete December 2000 December 2006
2 Phase II 7,300 km (4,500 mi) Award in progress December 2003 December 2009
3 Phase III A 4,000 km (2,500 mi) Already identified March 2005 December 2009
4 Phase V 6,500 km (4,000 mi) 5700 km of GQ + 800 km to be identified November 2005 December 2012
5 Phase III B 6,000 km (3,700 mi) Already identified March 2006 December 2012
6 Phase VII A 700 km (430 mi) Ring roads to be identified December 2006 December 2012
7 Phase IV A 5,000 km (3,100 mi) To be identified December 2006 December 2012
8 Phase VII B Ring roads to be identified December 2007 December 2013
9 Phase IV B 5,000 km (3,100 mi) To be identified December 2007 December 2013
10 Phase VI A 400 km (250 mi) Already identified December 2007 December 2014
11 Phase VII C Ring roads to be identified December 2008 December 2014
12 Phase IV C 5,000 km (3,100 mi) To be identified December 2008 December 2014
13 Phase VI B 600 km (370 mi) To be identified December 2008 December 2015
14 Phase IV D 5,000 km (3,100 mi) To be identified December 2009 December 2015

"Financing of the National Highway Development Programme" (PDF). 


The Indian Government has set ambitious plans for upgrading of the National Highways in a phased manner in the years to come. The details are as follows:

  • 4-laning of 10,000 km (6,200 mi) (NHDP Phase- III) including 4,000 km (2,500 mi) that has been already approved. An accelerated road development programme for the North Eastern region.
  • 2-laning with paved shoulders of 20,000 km (12,000 mi) of National Highways under NHDP Phase-IV.
  • 6-laning of GQ and some other selected stretches covering 6,500 km (4,000 mi) under NHDP Phase-V.
  • Development of 1,000 km (620 mi) of express ways under NHDP Phase-VI.
  • Development of ring roads, bypasses, grade separators, service roads, etc. under NHDP Phase-VII.

Status from NHAI website[edit]

National Highways Development Project is being implemented in all phases except phase VI at present. The present phases are improving more than 49,260 km of arterial routes of NH network to international standards. The project-wise details of NHDP all phases is below as of Jan 31, 2017:

Projects Total Length(Km.) Already 4/6 Laned(Km.) Under Implementation (Km.) Contracts Under Implementation (No.) Balance length for award(Km.)
NHDP GQ 5,846 5,846


0 0 -

Ph. I & II

7,142 6,545 345 29 252


435 379 56 6 -
NHDP Phase III 11,809 6,835 3,227 81 1,747
NHDP Phase IV 13,203 2,054 4,654 64 6,495
NHDP Phase V 6,500 2,359 761 22 3,380
NHDP Phase VI 1,000 - 165 8 835
NHDP Phase VII 700 22 19 1 659
NHDP Total 46,635 23,922 9,340 221 13,373
Others (Ph.-I, Ph.-II & Misc.) 1844 1614 230 11 -
SARDP -NE 110 105 5 1 -
Total by NHAI 48,589 25,641* 9,575 233 13,373
*Total 20,000 km was approved under NHDP Phase IV, out of which 14,799 km was assigned to NHAI and remaining Km with MoRTH.


National Highway Development Project will closed by first half of 2018, with the launch of Bharatmala project.[5] 10,000km of highway construction left under NHDP will be merged with Phase I of the Bharatmala.[5] Sagarmala and Setu Bharatam are also expected to fill in the void created by closure of NHDP project.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Govt declares Golden Quadrilateral complete". The Indian Express. 7 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "National Highways Development Project Map". National Highways Institute of India. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ a b Sood, Jyotika (2017-04-18). "NDA to kick off India’s most ambitious roads programme ever". Retrieved 2017-06-25.  External link in |work= (help)

External links[edit]