Govt shifts to new formula: To show highway construction in better light

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Tuesday announced that the daily road construction target for the current financial year will be calculated as per lane length kilometre formula practised worldwide.

"World over the road construction is calculated as per this formula," Union road Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

For instance if a 14-lane highway is being constructed, the total linear length of the 14 lanes is considered at the time of calculating the length of road built. At present,  in India whether it is a 4-lane, 6-lane or an 8-lane highway, it is considered as one lane. 

In 2017-18, NHAI awarded 150 road projects of 7,400 km worth Rs 1,220 billion. In last five years, the average length of road projects awarded by NHAI was 2,860 km with 4,335 km awarded in the last financial year. 

In comparison, the length of projects awarded in 2017-18 is an all-time high and a record achievement by NHAI since its inception in 1995, said an official statement last week.

It is expected that projects of around 3000 km will be awarded in April and May 2018.

Source: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways; figures for financial year 2017-18

Out of the total projects awarded in 17-18, 3,791 km length was awarded on EPC mode at a cost of Rs 430 billion; 3,396 km was awarded on Hybrid Annuity mode at a cost of Rs 765 billion and 209 km on Toll mode at a cost of Rs.25 billion.

Tendering and awarding projects picked up only after the sanction of ambitious Bharatmala programme and subsequent new procedure for sanction being put in place in November 2017, said the statement.

Under the new protocol, the NHAI board was delegated full powers for sanctioning EPC projects. Following that, high powered Projects Appraisal Committee and Cost Committee were put in place in NHAI.

During this drive, post Bharatmala, 232 projects were put on tender involving around 11,200 km of road length costing more than Rs. 1,960 billion. To expedite land acquisition, number of retired officers were employed and strong monitoring mechanisms were put in place. "But for delay in land acquisition in some states, the award figures could have been still higher." 

The projects awarded include 1,234 km in Rajasthan; 739 km in Maharashtra; 747 km in Odisha; 725 km in Uttar Pradesh; 511 km in Tamilnadu; 504 km in Andhra Pradesh; 468 km in Karnataka, 449 km in Gujarat; 389 km in Madhya Pradesh; 331 km in Haryana; 232 km in Bihar; 201 km in Jharkhand; 189 km in Telangana; 126 km in West Bengal; 120 km in Punjab; 100 km in J&K; and balance in other states.