The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may award 97 projects covering 6,631 km and worth Rs one lakh crore during the current financial year, its chairman Raghav Chandra said today. Addressing the National Conference on Highways Construction Technology organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Chandra said NHAI is keen to have private players to patrol the national highways and help in traffic management and maintaining road discipline. "NHAI has around 250 projects across the country and has completed around 400 projects in the past. It is expected to spend USD 15-16 billion (around one lakh crore) in 2016-17. The sale of construction equipment has grown drastically. There are 97 projects covering 6,631 km and worth Rs one lakh crore being awarded in 2016-17", he said. The National Highways Management has moved from construction-based achievement approach to service-based achievement approach that would enhance competitiveness and user satisfaction, he said. The NHAI chairman also talked about the importance of use of products which are recycled and reused out of waste materials. "NHAI has initiated detailed studies about the feasibility of using waste materials in laying roads and to encourage the private sector to explore these options in infrastructure development," he said. N V Shetty, Conference chairman and Chief Operating Officer of GMR Highways Ltd, said the Highways sector contributes about 5-6 per cent to the country's GDP growth.