Atal Bihari Vajpayee, our beloved former prime minister, changed the narrative of infrastructure development in India by envisioning a future, which had no correlation to the past and present. He dreamt about a connected and integrated India, while his team of officers detailed and implemented the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) – 100 times bigger and larger than the annual investments in national highways at that point of time.
It was truly a case of BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), accompanied by meticulous planning and effective execution! In the second half of the decade of 1990s, the annual plan outlay for national highways by the Ministry of Surface Transport (as it was known then) was all of Rs 500 crore per annum.
It was indeed audacious to have then conceived the NHDP of Rs 54,000 crore for the Golden Quadrilateral, North-South and East-West Corridors, covering a total of about 13,000 km of NH. Read more