Business & Economy

NHAI makes all-out efforts to speed up award and construction of highways

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, December 13, 2017

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has invited bids for projects of 4,900 km till November this year with bids for another 3,500 km likely to be invited by December end, taking the total up to 8400 km.
An official press release said that this was part of NHAI's all-out efforts to speed up award and construction of highways by constituting project appraisal committees and delegation of powers for quicker decision making.
Further projects for bidding during January-March, 2018 will be identified around the fourth week of December. Projects costing Rs. 22,100 crore and covering 1170 km have already been awarded so far and the bids for many other projects are under evaluation.
Some of the projects that were bid out this year include Dwarka Expressway in Delhi; Varanasi Ring Road Phase-II in Uttar Pradesh; Khambataki Ghat 6-lane Tunnel on Pune – Satara Section in Maharashtra; Jodhpur Ring Road in Rajasthan; Bridge at Manihari Ghat (near Sahibganj) in Bihar; 6-laning of Chordaha – Gorhar – Barwa Adda in Jharkhand; 4-laning of Ghoshpukur – Salsalabari in West Bengal; and 4-laning of Bhopal  - Biaora in Madhya Pradesh;  
Others are the 4-laning of Cuttack – Angul Section in Odisha; 6-laning of Bengaluru – Mysore Section in Karnataka; and the Fully Access Controlled Expressway (Anandapuram-Pendurthi-Anakapalli) with connectivity to Visakhapatnam Port in Andhra Pradesh.
In FY 2017-18, NHAI has completed 1566 km length of the projects under implementation till November 2017 (5,060 lane km).  The average in last five years of length constructed by NHAI is 2,175 km with 2,628 km constructed in FY 2016-17. This year NHAI is targeting to construct 3,500 km.
The work on 12 new projects (covering 597 km) has commenced and will start soon on another 38 projects (covering 1969 km).  The banks/ financial institutions are now showing a keen interest in Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) and financial closure of HAM projects are now happening smoothly.
NHAI is making all-out efforts to achieve its target of awarding 10,000 km during 2017-18, as set by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, the release said.
The Authority is also gearing up to meet its target of completing Phase I of the recently approved “Bharatmala Pariyojana” within the next five years, that is  up to 2021-22.
During the last five years, NHAI’s average award has been 2,860 km, with 4,335 km awarded in FY 2016-17.
While approving the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the Government had authorized NHAI Board to appraise and approve projects on Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) mode, which constitute 30% of the Pariyojana. 
Accordingly, the NHAI Board constituted two appraisal committees for appraising projects costing more than Rs 500 crore and internal appraisal committees for appraising projects up to Rs 500 crore, besides delegating power to Chairman to approve projects up to Rs 500 crore and to the Executive Committee of NHAI for projects costing Rs 500-1,000 crore.
The Appraisal Committees have cleared several projects already, which has led to expediting the invitation and acceptance of bids. Chairman NHAI is reviewing the targets on weekly basis.
Regional Officers have been instructed to engage retired revenue officials of the rank of ADM for each project so as to expedite the land acquisition. The delays in starting the projects like disbursement of compensation, tree cutting permissions, and so on, are also constantly monitored.
The site officers of NHAI have been instructed to meet and sit with the concerned officials of State Governments till the clearances are received. Issues are escalated to the Chief Secretaries of State Governments, if not resolved at local level, an official release said.