Impactful Increase in the Rate of Highway Construction in 2017-18

The National Highways Authority of India, an autonomous body that aims to ensure proper functioning of the national highways in India has been the primary contributor to the major changes witnessed in the highway construction and operation. In comparison to the last fiscal year, the rate of highway construction experienced a significant spike with 27 km/day which was 22.5 km/day last term. While this difference in the hike might not seem like a major one, it is definitely an achievement that is gradually gaining momentum to secure even better outcomes and results.

With the rate increasing to 27km/day, the clocked growth rate was that of 20% in comparison to last year’s. Even though the rate is rapidly increasing, the same is not even close to the visions of the Indian Government. They expect the rate to surpass the 40 km/day mark which is definitely going to take a bit more time. The government has time and time emphasised the importance of the roads and highway projects which is what has paved way for National Highways Authority of India to introduce and implement a number of similar projects under the ambitious Bharatmala Programme.

Following the new dispersion back in 2014, the rate of the highway construction was at a bare 11.67 km per day which was not even close to what the Government envisioned. The rate gradually increased to 12 km per day in the year 2014-15 and then to 16.6 km per day in the year 2015-16. This was still not good enough which is why the rate increased multiple folds in the fiscal year of 2017-18 under the smooth supervision of the National Highways Authority of India. In a recent press conference, the honourable Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr Nitin Gadkari claimed that the rate of construction is going to increase in multiple folds in the coming days, the concrete targets and details of which will be released soon.

It was not just the rate of highway construction that witnessed a spike, the project awards in the year of 2017-18 were also pronounced in comparison to the previous years. Combining all the projects under NHAI and NHIDCL, a total of 16,640 km length of highway projects were awarded to different administration bodies. The National Highways Authority of India covered 7,397km, MoRTH undertook 8,652 km and the remaining 591 km were supervised by NHIDCL.

Most of these highway projects are being implemented under the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) model under which the government is responsible for all the allied expenditure on these projects. NHAI is also administering projects under the hybrid annuity model (HAM), which is a public-private programme in which 40% of the cost is borne by the Government. The fiscal year of 2017-18 witnessed a total expenditure of Rs. 1,16,324 crore in the development of highways. These rates are simultaneously going up with the inclusion of various highway projects which will ensure to enhance connectivity and a much safer and smoother commute.

#Ministryofroadtransport #Highwayprojectsinindia #DevelopmentofroadwaysinIndia


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