A lower award target of 20,000km for highway projects this fiscal would make achievement of the Bharatmala programme’s goals more challenging, rating agency ICRA said today. The Ministry of Road Transportation & Highways (MORTH) has fixed a lower award target of around 20,000 km of National Highways for FY2019 from 25,000 km in FY2018.
The road and highways ministry has lowering the award target of road projects to 20,000km “In order to catch up with the ambitious target for new highway development programme, which is 83,677 km by FY2022, the award rate has to be more than double from what it was in FY2018; the target for FY2019 has instead been lowered to 20,000 km from 25,000 km last year, which makes the achievement of Bharatmala targets even more challenging,” ICRA said.
The lower target is however about 17 per cent more than the 17,055 km awarded during FY2018, which by far has been the best year for the MORTH in terms of execution and awards, it said. The government has decided to focus more execution in the current year, ICRA said. ICRA added that given the ambitious target in Bharatmala the award rate should be upwards of 40,000 km for the next two years – FY2019 and FY 2020.