28. The National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) represents a new road vision for this country. Its unprecedented scale is symbolic of government’s earnestness to provide connectivity and mobility of an altogether different order. The key to government’s success in accelerating the road development programme lies in its bold policy of levying a cess on petrol and diesel as a user charge for road usage. Resources for Phase I, to be completed by December 2003, have already been tied up. Work has already been awarded for more than 1500 Kms. of the golden quadrilateral in addition to the completed sections totalling 600 Kms. The balance portion is expected to be awarded by the middle of this year.

29. The cess has paved the way for integrated road development in the country, including village roads, district roads, state roads, and national highways. Rs 962 crore from the cess fund is being made available to States for state roads. The total plan outlay for this sector is being enhanced by 93 per cent to Rs 8727 crore in 2001-02.