Undeterred By The Pandemic, NHAI Awards Highest Highway Building Contracts In 3 Years During April-August Period

Undeterred By The Pandemic, NHAI Awards Highest Highway Building Contracts In 3 Years During April-August PeriodHighway (representational image) (NHAI)

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) revealed on Monday that in the April to August period of the ongoing financial year, it has awarded the highest length of national highway projects compared to the same period in the last three years, reports Hindustan Times.

During the said period, NHAI awarded contracts for a total of 26 projects involving a length of 744 kilometres, which are to be executed at Rs 31,000 crore. The lengths of national highway contracts awarded during the same period in FY 2019-20 stood at 676 kilometres. In FY 2018-19 and FY 2017-18, the lengths awarded stood at 368 kilometres and 504 kilometres.

To boost the sector's confidence in these times, and to ensure cash flow for contractors, NHAI also ensured that no payments are delayed due to closure of the offices, and disbursed Rs 10,000 crore in total during the lockdown in March 2020 using digital platforms. Furthermore, in the following first quarter of FY 20-21, NHAI disbursed more than Rs 15,000 crore to vendors. Additional steps such as monthly payments to contractors were also implemented.

According to NHAI, these aforementioned actions on its part encouraged the participation from bidders resulting in a spiralling effect on the growth of the road sector.

The surge in the projects awarded by NHAI for the building of national highways since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic comes as a major positive for the economy and evolves in sync with the Government's repeated assertion that it will boost the investment into infrastructure building to get the economy back on the path of growth and minimise the negative effect of the economic chaos caused by the pandemic.