In Financial Year 2017-18, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded 150 projects road projects of 7,400 km worth Rs. 1,22,000 crore, the release said.
In last 5 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 FY 2017-18 is an all-time high and a record achievement by NHAI since its inception in 1995.
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. 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 was put in place in NHAI.
During this drive, post-Bharatmala, 232 projects were put on tenders involving around 11,200 km of road length costing more than Rs. 1,96,000 crore. To expedite land acquisition, a number of retired officers were employed and strong monitoring mechanisms were put in place. But for a delay in land acquisition in some states, the award figures could have been still higher. It is expected that projects of around 3,000 km shall be awarded in the first two months of the next FY 2018-19.
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.
With the above jump in work awards, NHAI has given a good beginning for ambitious “Bharatmala Pariyojana” approved by the Government in Oct. 2017, which is to be implemented with a very stiff target of 5 years (2017-18 to 2021-22).