Consultative Committee attached to M/o Road Transport & Highways meets
By AT Bureau
The Development of Roads and connectivity to major towns and cities has a major role of the Socio- Economic Development of the entire area. Realizing this, the Prime Minister had set an ambitious target of construction of 20 km of roads per day and this target entailed construction of about 7300 km of roads per year. This was stated by the Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Dr. C.P. Joshi while addressing the 10th Parliamentary Consultative Committee Meeting of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on the topic “Qualification and bidding Criteria- RFQ & RFP” here today. He said that the Ministry currently planning to award 7300 km of roads per year. Once the level of award is maintained for 2-3 years, this should result the work in hand of about 20000 km, and considering 2-3 years project cycle completion of 7300 in a year. The Government has taken various steps to revamp the National Highway Development Project (NHDP). Public-Private Partnership (PPP), particularly, Build, Operate and Transfer BOT (Toll) was recognized as the preferred mode for award of projects. Extensive consultation with all stake holders resulted in preferred mode for award of projects. Extensive consultation with all stake holders resulted in removal of procedural and structural bottlenecks in the award process. Consequently, 2009-10 and 2010-11 saw acceleration in the award of project with 3360 km awarded in 2009-10, 5059 km awarded in 2010-11 and 4375 km awarded in 2011-12 (upto January, 2011).
The Minister informed the Members that besides NHDP, some other major projects are being implemented by the Ministry including Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP) NE, roads in Left Wing extremist areas. Thus over 20000 km would be developed under these programmes outside the NHDP.
He expressed his concern that there are substantial stretches of National Highways which are yet single lane or intermediate lane and many of these stretches would not be visible on BOT mode. The traditional mode of developing these roads on item rate contract was seen to be inefficient leading to time and cost over runs. This mode is proposed to be replaced by Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) mode.
He said that certain policy initiatives to address other areas of concern like transparency in award of works, tolling improving the maintenance of highway, road safety etc. have been taken. To increase transparency and simplify the bidding process, e-tendering & e-procurement has been introduced by NHAI. So far tenders including RFP for BOT projects are being uploaded on the e-tendering portal.
The Minister informed the Members that in 2009 the Ministry had accepted B.K.Chaturvedi Committee Report on NHDP in regard to the modification to the existing RFQ and RFP documents for the road sector. All these policies seek to achieve our stated goal of constructing safe, world class road infrastructure, promoting equitable growth and development. Some of these policies have the potential to enforce a paradigm shift in the monitoring of awarding of bids for stretch of works. Our endeavour is to achieve the goal reasonable.
The Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Dr. Tusharbhai Chaudhary, Minister of States in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and senior officials of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways were also present in the meeting. The Members of Parliament who participated in the meeting include:- Sardar Sukhdev Singh Libra, Shri Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Shri Mangani Lal Mandal, Smt. Aswamedh Devi, Shri Kaushalendra Kumar, Shri Govind Prasad Mishra, Shri K. Narayana Rao, Shri R. Sambasiva Rao, Shri Anantha V. Reddy and Shri B.K.Handique (Lok Sabha) and Shri Jesudasu Seelam and Shri K.B. Shanappa (Rajya Sabha).