NEW DELHI, April 2: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the pace of highway construction in the country has touched a record 37 km per day in financial year 2020-21.

He said the achievement was remarkable as it was achieved despite constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministry of road transport and highways has constructed 13,394 km of highways in fiscal year 2020-21.

“Tremendous progress has been achieved in building national highways across the country... We have achieved a road building pace of 37 km of highways a day,” Gadkari said.

Gadkari said these “achievements are unprecedented and have no parallel in any other country in the world”.

He said over the past seven years, length of national highways has gone up by 50 per cent from 91,287 km (as of April 2014) to 1,37,625 km (as on March 20, 2021).

“Cumulative cost of ongoing project works has increased by 54 per cent at the end of the financial year 2020-21, compared to the financial year 2019-20 (as on March 31),” the minister said.

Total budgetary outlay increased by 5.5 times, from Rs 33,414 crore in the financial year 2015 to Rs 1,83,101 crore for the financial year 2022.

Sanctioned amount has increased by 126 per cent in financial year 2020-21, over the financial year 2019-20 despite COVID-19-related impact, the minister said adding that the sanctioned length in kilometres has also increased 9 per cent in FY21 over FY20.

Average annual project award (annual average award length) during the financial year 2015 to the financial year 2021 increased 85 per cent, compared to FY10 to FY14, as per the Ministry.

Average annual construction during FY2015 to FY2021 has increased by 83 per cent compared to FY2010 to FY2014, the Ministry added. – PTI