Highways hit roadblocks in 2012

Dec 27 2012, 14:54 IST
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Against the target of awarding 8,800 km highways during 2012-13, contracts for only 1,100 km could be given. (Reuters) Against the target of awarding 8,800 km highways during 2012-13, contracts for only 1,100 km could be given. (Reuters)
SummaryAgainst the target of awarding 8,800 km highways during 2012-13, contracts for only 1,100 km could be given.

20 km of roads a day, Joshi said, "Once you award the projects the construction takes three years, the difference between award and construction is normally three years.

In 2011-12 we could award more than 7,000 km, we got Rs 3,000 crore worth of premium, the trend was there in 2011-12 but the scenario changed in 2012-13. We hope in the coming months once again we will get good response."

The Ministry faced much criticism on the front with even a parliamentary panel in its latest report saying that building 20 km of highways per day " has been a distant dream so far."

Meanwhile leading infrastructure firms are trying to find buyers for their road projects, as per the industry.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also was in media focus during the year for wrong reasons like inordinate delays in projects like Golden Quadrilateral.

"NHAI is not in a position to complete any project and is adding projects after projects without achieving targets in older ones," the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport has said in its latest report, adding, "This shows their deficiency either in planning of programmes or proper execution of the same."

It said, "The much-publicised GQ (Golden Quadrilateral) and NS & EW (North South & East West) Corridor under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) have not been completed till date."

A length of four kms is still to be completed under GQ project, which aims to provide direct connectivity between four metros Ė Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. It was originally scheduled for completion in 2004.

In North-South & East-West Corridor, out of 7,142 km, 6,031 km has been completed, 691 km is under implementation and 420 km is yet to be awarded.to take up 4000 km on EPC basis in 2012-13.

The year saw NHAI getting a new Chairman Ė former DIPP Secretary RP Singh Ė after being headless for nearly two years.

It was expected that NHAI that the step will give a push to government's flagship road building programme Ė National Highways Development Project (NHDP) being implemented by it but nothing changed.

The position of full-time Chairman at NHAI fell vacant in August, 2010 after the retirement of Brijeshwar Singh. Road Transport Secretary A K Upadhyay has been holding this additional charge.

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