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Business News/ Auto News / Government gearing up to introduce new speed limits: Nitin Gadkari
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Government gearing up to introduce new speed limits: Nitin Gadkari

Lower limits on new highways meant for travel at higher speeds pose challenges for commuters, Gadkari said at the Mint Zetwerk Smart Manufacturing Summit 2023 on Thursday.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari (Hindustan Times )Premium
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari (Hindustan Times )

NEW DELHI:The government is gearing up to introduce updated vehicular speed limits as India’s new highway and expressway network is capable of handling faster speeds, according to Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari.

Lower limits in new highways meant for mobility at higher speeds pose challenges for commuters, Gadkari said at the Mint Zetwerk Smart Manufacturing Summit 2023 on Thursday.

The proposed revision is part of the government’s efforts to improve the safety and efficiency of the country’s transportation infrastructure.

While the ministry of road transport is responsible for setting speed limits, the subject comes under the concurrent list, granting states the ability to enact their own regulations.

Gadkari said the Centre would soon discuss with states before formulating new norms.

“Now the situation is such that the highways are good, but the speed limits have not changed. I am calling the transport ministers of states. We will prepare new speed limit norms, and you (people) will soon get relief," he said. The minister added that norms would classify the speed limit for different types of highways, including access control highways, 8-lane, 6-lane, 4-lane and 2-lane highways, along with the limit for vehicular traffic in cities.

In 2018, the Centre, through a notification, raised the speed limit to 120 km per hour (kmph) on expressways and 100 kmph on national highways. However, in August 2021, the Madras high court quashed the notification, following which the ministry appealed the order in the Supreme Court last year.

The emphasis on increasing speed limits comes when the government is trying to expand the network of highways and expressways in the country.

Gadkari said that the ministry has set a target of 60 km per day for highway construction in the next financial year. For the current fiscal, he, however, said that given the impact of covid, the government expects to achieve highway construction of 40 km a day.

“There is some impact of covid. The target for FY24 is 60 km per day. This year, 40 km would be good enough," the minister said.

On India’s first electric highway, the minister said that the project between Delhi and Jaipur is in the preliminary stage, and recently, the government held a meeting to discuss the ambitious project. The tech trial of the electric vehicles on the 278 km highway started last year. The government also plans to develop more electric highways with amenities supporting EV charging across the highways.

In a bid to decongest traffic in the Delhi-Gurugram route, the government also plans to construct a double-decker highway from Dhaula Kuan to Manesar, he said.

Along with the planned highways to reduce the travel time from several cities to the national capital, the minister also said that the government has major plans to boost ropeway services in the country. The ministry has already approved 260 ropeways and cable cars across the country to improve mobility and ease road traffic, he said.

On India’s growing automotive industry, Gadkari said that he aims to make India the top automobile manufacturing hub in the world in the next five years. Noting that the Indian automobile industry currently stands at around 7.5 trillion, and most of the top automakers export from the country, there is a huge opportunity for the country to surpass China and US to become the largest automaker in the world.

With a major focus on alternative fuels and the success of EVs in India over the past few years, he said there is a need to look for more alternative fuels. He also said that hydrogen would fuel the country’s mobility, and it is necessary to harness its potential.

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Published: 02 Mar 2023, 11:21 PM IST
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