Underlying construction of highways and expressways is the belief that such highways can significantly enhance economic growth in the surrounding area. They help to reduce travel time, make movement of goods and people smooth and fast and help connect cities and central areas with the rest of the country. Improving travel infrastructure plays a crucial role in the economic and social integration of a country.
These routes vastly improve the quality of transportation available to inland areas and suburbs, allowing people from these areas to travel and seek employment in cities. Similarly, new employment opportunities are created as easy and more frequent transportation encourages investors to set up new industries. If highway improvements were to be accompanied by economic incentives it would help generate even more investment.
The growth of industries and other employment opportunities in the region encourages people from surrounding areas to seek employment there which increases the demand for investment in local infrastructure. One of the most notable consequences of highway construction and the regional economic growth that accompanies this is the impact on commercial and residential land development. Property value is significantly affected as the demand for property grows. This creates an extremely lucrative investment environment for property investors. The government too is increasingly recognising the need to establish communities around the new roads. The proximity of two or more towns along the highways ensures continuity of development.
In India, under the aegis of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a considerable number of highways are being constructed which will help connect metropolitan cities and other important areas throughout the country. Highway and expressway construction is being integrated with projects for new, modern towns. The Noida-Greater Noida Expressway is one such project. Designs for towns along this highway have passed through their final stages; they will have shopping facilities, educational institutions, medical centres, tree lined streets, pedestrian paths, cycle tracks, etc. These developments also include plans for their own golf courses. To improving existing infrastructure of the Noida-Yamuna Expressway, plans have been drawn up for a higher captive power generation unit, sewage treatment plants and an additional 20km road network.
Along the proposed Delhi-Jaipur Expressway, the government is all set to approve plans for development of seven new townships over an area of 20,000 hectares across two states. While the Haryana government has already approved the plans for three townships in Rewari, Manesar and Pataudi, Rajasthan’s governmental approval on four townships in Chomu, Kotputli, Behror and Sahapura is still pending. All these projects will benefit from direct access to the expressway. Despite the numerous plans, there are still more vacant areas that could potentially be used for further developments. The plans have given a real boost to the real estate sector of Rajasthan and will relieve the already over-crowded residential areas.
The construction of highways is an essential part of the plan to build modern and sophisticated towns. Government and private investors alike are now set to see these developments through to their full potential.