The Modi government is on a spree of approving large projects. The road transport and highways ministry (MoRTH) on Friday cleared 13 highway projects, with a total length of 600 km and combined worth of Rs 10,300 crore. A week ago, it had approved 18 other highway projects having a cumulative length of 982 km to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 16,614 crore.
The 13 projects cleared on Friday are spread across seven states, including Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. These would be awarded in the current fiscal and developed over a period of 2.5 years, from the dates of awards. The NHAI would take the responsibility of developing five of them and the remaining eight, the ministry itself.
While award of projects have risen dramatically in the last couple of years, construction has of late shown signs of gathering pace. Between the NHAI and ministry, highway stretches with a total length of 4,600 km was built till the end of January against the target of 6,300 km for the entire fiscal. The construction during the whole of last fiscal was of 4,400-km-long projects.
Road transport and highways secretary Sanjay Mitra said three of the 13 projects would be awarded using BOT (toll) model and another three via the hybrid annuity route that reduces the risk to the developer. The balance seven projects would be executed through engineering procure and construction (EPC) route in which the government bears the entire cost.
Since the civil cost of none of these projects exceed R1,000 crore, the ministry would not require to seek the approval of the Cabinet to award these projects. Two of the projects are green-field while the rest are brownfield projects.
Between them, the NHAI and the ministry had targeted to award 10,000-km projects in the current fiscal. Till January-end, nearly 70% of the target was achieved.