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New policies accelerate India's road development

Road construction is underway between Jaipur and Mahua in western India. (Courtesy of the National Highway Authority of India)

NEW DELHI -- The sorry state of India's roads have long been emblematic of the country's poor infrastructure, along with electric power, water service and ports, but now road development and improvement have begun to progress rapidly. The Indian government is promoting the revival of road projects suspended due to difficulties with land acquisition and cost overruns by providing additional loans in cooperation with major banks. It is also drawing up rules that facilitate withdrawal from projects and the sale of assets.

Furthermore, the government has transferred some of the authority to approve projects from the cabinet to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in a bid to speed up construction work and is working to quicken land acquisition, which often faces strong public opposition, as well as time-consuming environmental examinations.

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