The highway construction in India grew by around 25 per cent on an annual basis to 25.37 km/day in the first quarter of FY 2020-21 despite the period coinciding with the peak of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in several lockdowns across the country.
In fact, the latest figures are even higher than the ones produced in the pre-Covid times, as about 23.29 km of highways was built per day from April-June of FY 2019-20.
Yet, the pace of construction recorded in the initial quarter of the ongoing financial year continues to be behind the all-time high of 36.4 km/day that was realized in the FY 2020-21.
The central government’s industry-friendly measures to facilitate a better flow of cash to the contractors are credited for the record construction that was reported last year.
Rajeshwar Burla from the commercial banking company ICRA Limited told the Financial Express, “During second wave of Covid-19, the construction activity was permitted by the state governments."
He added, “At the same time, MoRTH also supported the contractors by releasing payments proactively. That’s why the execution pace was not affected. At this pace, the execution could surpass 40 km/ day in FY22.”
Reportedly, optimum pace of highway construction is generally observed following the festive season and hence one can arguably witness a steep rise in the same in the coming three quarters.
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