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  1. Government clears Rs 28k-cr road projects in Feb; Rs 10.3k crore today

Government clears Rs 28k-cr road projects in Feb; Rs 10.3k crore today

Government today approved 13 projects worth Rs 10,300 crore for six states to be awarded by the end of next month.

By: | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2016 8:44 PM
.(PTI)

The number of projects cleared by Road Transport and Highways Ministry in a fortnight have swelled to 31, entailing a total investment of about Rs 28,000 crore. (PTI)

Government today approved 13 projects worth Rs 10,300 crore for six states to be awarded by the end of next month.

With today’s approval, the number of projects cleared by Road Transport and Highways Ministry in a fortnight have swelled to 31, entailing a total investment of about Rs 28,000 crore.

“Ministry approved 13 national highways projects in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh today. The total cost of 13 projects for 670 kms is Rs 10,300 crore,” Road Transport and Highways Secretary Sanjay Mitra said.

Of the 13 projects, three each will be executed on BOT (build, operate, transfer) toll and hybrid annuity mode while the remaining seven projects will be bid on EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) mode, he added.

Most of these projects include highway expansion.

No clearance is required for approval of these projects as their construction cost is less than Rs 1,000 crore, the limit fixed by the government recently for award of projects by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.

“Most of these projects are likely to be awarded by March,” Mitra said.

The government has a target of awarding road contracts of 10,000 kms for this fiscal and it has already awarded 7,000 kms.

It has already set a target to increase the length of National Highways to 2 lakh kms from the existing 96,000 kms.

The projects approved today include five projects by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that include Rs 247 crore project for 4-lane Varsova Creek Bridge under NHDP, Rs 1,183 crore project for six laning of Kishangarh-Gulabpura section of NH-8, Rs 1,378 crore Gulabpura-Chittorgarh section and Rs 1,223 crore Chittorgarh-Udaipur section besides six-laning of Udaiypur bypass under NHDP V.

The rest of the eight projects will be implemented by the Ministry and include Rs 156 crore Nagpur bypass, Rs 1,486 crore Kante-Waked section of NH 66 in Maharashtra, Rs 473 crore Bilaspur-Urdawal Orissa Border section in Chhattisgarh, Rs 1,059 crore Gorakhpur bypass in UP, Rs 882 crore project for Bareli to Goharganj stretch in MP, Rs 657 crore project in Dindigul-Bangalore Road and Rs 298 crore project for UP.

As many as 18 projects worth Rs 17,000 crore for building about 1,000 kms of highways, including nine on the recently approved hybrid annuity mode, were approved in a meeting, chaired by Mitra, last week.

The Cabinet had last month approved hybrid annuity model for building roads to fast-track highway projects, revive the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode and attract more investments in the sector.

Under this model, the government provides 40 per cent of the project cost to the developer while remaining 60 per cent investment has to be made by the developer.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said, “No one (private players) was ready to participate in the PPP-based projects as they had lost faith (in the previous government).

“However, to encourage private participation, we have also introduced a hybrid model, where we will share the risk with them,” he said, adding that majority of land acquisition has been done for all these projects.

No Cabinet approval is required for the projects cleared today or the earlier week as the government, in a bid to fast-track highways projects, had recently empowered Road Transport and Highways Ministry to approve projects with civil construction cost up to Rs 1,000 crore.

It has made it clear that civil construction cost would be segregated from capital cost of projects.

This was done to reduce time as multiple stages of examination and appraisal of the same project by different Ministry/Department/Committees caused delays in award of National Highways projects.

Taking note of such difficulties and with a view to minimise levels of decision making, the CCEA has empowered the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to decide on the change in the mode of delivery of individual NH projects.

The government is making all efforts to achieve the target to award 10,000 kms in the fiscal.

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