New Delhi: In a bid to provide more convenience to commuters using the national highways for their journey, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is constructing more than 600 roadside facilities along the national highways that cross the country lengthways. and wide.
These wayside facilities are being developed as part of the development of allied infrastructure for the convenience of road users. Each of these roadside amenities would be a one stop shop for commuters where they would get the facilities for accommodation, restaurants, entertainment, shopping experiences for handicrafts and local products, restrooms, gas stations , auto repair shops, medical clinics among many other such facilities. .
Such facilities are planned to be developed every 40-60 km along the national road. According to the ministry, this would help promote long-distance travel by road.
“At a time when all modes of transportation are becoming competitive, it was imperative for us to make highway travel more enjoyable and comfortable. Bearing this in mind, the ministry began working on ways to provide public facilities and amenities along the highways that could make road travel an enjoyable experience, for passengers as well as truckers and drivers. . Those who use the motorway networks for travel should not only be able to reach their destination in less time, but also the whole travel experience should be smooth and hassle-free, providing plenty of opportunity for rest and refreshment during their trip. This led to the idea of creating developments along the highways and encouraging people to use the highways to travel long distances, rather than other modes of transportation,” said a senior Department of Transport official. Roads and Highways to the Sunday Guardian.
According to ministry officials, the wayside facilities are designed to meet the needs of all types of commuters who would use the national highway to get around. There would be separate facilities to cater to the needs of general commuters as well as truckers who make up the bulk of highway users. While for general commuters these roadside amenities would have modern rooms and best in class dining facilities for truckers, the same roadside amenities would provide sleeping accommodations as well as affordable meals.
Keeping in mind the future of cars in India, each of these roadside amenities would also be equipped with electric charging stations, where commuters on a break could quickly charge their car for onward travel.
The ministry plans to build more than 600 such roadside facilities in a phased manner over the next five years. Such facilities would be built at 600 locations along national highways covering approximately 22 states nationwide.
Out of these 600, the ministry has already constructed and operationalized 14 roadside schemes along various national highways in India, while 15 roadside schemes are under construction.
According to ministry officials, the ministry has set a target to complete 142 in the next fiscal year, with 39 of them having already won tenders and for the remaining 103 tenders have been awarded. been initiated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The officials also said that 23 of these facilities would be provided along the Delhi-Mumbai highway and 16 of them would be developed as brownfield projects. “Some of these projects would be developed by NHAI, while others would be developed in a PPP (public-private partnership) model. For such projects, land availability and feasibility are the most important aspects that need to be considered. Once the land is available, the realization of the project does not take much time. It is also important to mention here that these roadside amenities are developed keeping in mind the flavor of the region and the demographics of the region to give commuters a sense of the locality,” said the senior official of the ministry to this newspaper.