From 4,192 km of highways developed in 2020-21, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has set a target to build new highways with a combined length of 4,600 km in the current fiscal year.
With available streams of funds including budgetary outlays and the funds being realised through the toll-operate-transfer (TOT) route, the NHAI is optimistic that it could achieve the target with EPC and HAM projects.
“The authority was confident in achieving the target set for the current fiscal even as there has been some impact on highway construction lately owing to a pandemic-induced labour shortage in some sites. Awards this year will be much more than the construction target, but that is being finalised,” NHAI Chairman S S Sandhu told Financial Express.
“There is some impact, not much. The impact varies from place to place. At some places, there is no impact; but at other places, 10-15 per cent of the workers have gone back. Overall, as of now, the impact is minimal or marginal,” he said when asked about the impact of lockdown and restrictions.
Earlier it was reported that the NHAI is planning to increase the awarded projects from 141 projects (4,788 km) worth Rs 1.71 lakh crore in 2020-21 to around Rs 2.25 lakh crore in the current fiscal.
It is also noteworthy that in the year 2020-21, the Modi government has achieved a record-breaking milestone of constructing 37 kilometres highways per day which is unprecedented.
Other achievements of the ministry include an increase in the length of national highways over the last seven years from 91,287 km (as of April 2014) to 1,37,625 km (as on 20 March 2021).
Also the total budgetary outlay increased by 5.5 times, from Rs 33,414 crore in Financial Year 2015 to Rs 1,83,101 crore in Financial Year 2022.
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