India is expected to maintain current road construction momentum, adding up to 13,000 kilometres in the 12 months through March 2025, an annual increase of 5-8%, ICRA, the Indian arm of the Fitch ratings agency said on Tuesday.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014, India has built about 90,000 kilometres of national highway, almost double that constructed in the previous decade, according to government estimates.

Modi is hailing road infrastructure as a major achievement in a general election campaign ahead of the start of voting on Friday.

Capital expenditure on roads increased to 2.4 trillion rupees ($28.72 billion) in 2022/23 from 510 billion rupees in 2013/14.

After a slow start last year due to heavy rains in parts of the country, road construction has accelerated since September, with momentum likely to continue, ICRA said in a statement.

"The pace of execution in this fiscal year will be supported by a healthy pipeline of projects, increased capital outlay by the government and focus on completion of projects," ICRA said.

At more than 45,000 km, the government's project award pipeline remained healthy, despite a delay in cabinet approvals for revised cost estimates, said Vinay Kumar, vice president and sectoral head, corporate ratings, ICRA.

The government this month delayed a proposed hike in road toll charges for about two months, offering temporary relief to millions of motorists, truckers and commercial vehicle owners.

Nitin Gadkari, India's road transport minister, has set a target of building more than 35 kilometres of roads per day in the current fiscal year.

($1 = 83.5756 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)