National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has invited bids for Rs 1.75 lakh crore highway projects till January in the current fiscal, the government said today. “The NHAI has invited bids for a length of 10,460 km, costing nearly Rs 1,75,000 crore till January, 2018, and is all set to achieve a quantum jump in the award of road projects in the year 2017-18,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement. Bids for another 1,000 km will be invited within the next 15 days, the statement said, adding that the average length of road projects awarded by NHAI in the last 5 years was 2,860 km, with 4,335 km awarded in 2016-17. Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari had set a target for NHAI for award of 10,000 km this year.
“Projects for a length of nearly 2,700 km, costing Rs 43,000 crore have already been awarded by the Authority in 2017-18, and there are plans to award 3,300 km in February,” the statement said, adding that another 5,000 km will be awarded in March, 2018 subject to a good response in bidding and cooperation from state governments in land acquisition and project clearances.
The projects awarded and likely to be awarded by March, 2018 cover 1,900 km in Maharashtra, followed by Rajasthan (1,150 km), Uttar Pradesh (1,020 km), Odisha (880 km), Andhra Pradesh (745 km), Madhya Pradesh (740 km), Gujarat (650 km), Karnataka (620 km), Tamilnadu (570 km), Bihar (500 km), Jharkhand (430 km), Telangana (365 km), Haryana (350 km), West Bengal (280 km) and Chhattisgarh (270 km), the statement said. It said the balance road projects in other states include 150 km in each Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, 140 km in Delhi, 120 km in Kerala and 100 km in Jammu & Kashmir. “With the above jump in awards, NHAI is set to give a good beginning for the ambitious ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ approved by the Government in October, 2017,” the statement said.
To ensure that the targets are achieved, NHAI has set up a robust monitoring mechanism, it said, adding that officials from NHAI headquarters have been visiting critical project sites and meeting officials of state governments, it said. It is also ramping up the pace of construction. “In 2017 -18, NHAI is set to complete construction in a length of 3,500 km against the average in last 5 years of 2,170 km. To maintain the pace of construction, NHAI has commenced works on 27 new projects covering 1,330 km and will commence the work soon on another 50 projects covering 3,000 km,” it added.