The National Highways Authority of India has invited bids for a length of 10,460 km, costing nearly Rs1,75,000 crore till January, 2018, and is all set to achieve a quantum jump in the award of road projects in the year 2017-18. Further bids in another 1,000km will be invited within the next 15 days.
The average length of road projects awarded by NHAI in the last 5 years was 2,860 km, with 4,335 km awarded in 2016-17.
Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, shipping and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation had set a target for NHAI for award of 10,000 km this year. Projects for a length of nearly 2,700 km, costing Rs.43,000 crore have already been awarded in 2017-18, and there are plans to award 3,300 km in February and 5,000 km in March 2018 subject to a good response in bidding and cooperation from state governments in land acquisition and project clearances.
The projects awarded and likely to be awarded by March 2018 include 1,900 km in Maharashtra; 1150 km in Rajasthan; 1,020 km in Uttar Pradesh; 880 km in Odisha; 745 km in Andhra Pradesh; 740 km in Madhya Pradesh; 650 km in Gujarat; 620 km in Karnataka; 570 km in Tamilnadu; 500 km in Bihar; 430 km in Jharkhand; 365 km in Telangana; 350 km in Haryana; 280 km in West Bengal; 270 km in Chattisgarh; and balance in other states (150 km in Punjab; 150 km. in Himachal Pradesh; 140 km in Delhi, 120 km in Kerala; 100 km in J&K).
Once awarded, these projects will provide a boost to the government's ambitious ''Bharatmala Pariyojana'' approved in October 2017.
NHAI is also ramping up its pace of construction. In 2017-18, NHAI is set to complete construction in a length of 3,500km against the average in last 5 years of 2,170 km. To maintain the pace of construction, NHAI has commenced works on 27 new projects covering 1,330 km and will commence the work soon on another 50 projects covering 3,000 km.
Banks / financial institutions are now showing keen interest in Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) and financing of HAM projects is now happening smoothly, according to a government release.
To ensure that the targets are achieved, NHAI has set up a robust monitoring mechanism. Officials from the NHAI headquarters have been visiting project sites of critical projects and meeting officials of state governments (district collectors and land acquisition officials) for expediting land acquisition and project clearances. NHAI has also recruited a large number of retired revenue officials at the field levels.