His ministry has so far awarded road projects worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore, he said.

''The country at present has 96,000 km of national highways, which the ministry wants to expand to 1,50,000 km over this period, '' Gadkari said.

The minister noted that it was necessary to bring down the cost of construction and the government was taking various initiatives to ensure India becomes competitive globally.

There is no dearth of funds and the government can raise money by selling securities backed by future toll collections from national highways to finance road construction, he said.

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