08 April, 2020
9 Min Read
NHAI achieved record 3,979 km highways construction
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III- Economy Infrastructure
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has achieved the highest ever highway construction feat with an accomplishment of 3,979 km of national highways in the financial Year 2019-20.However, it has completed 88% of highway construction against the target of building 4,500 km highways in FY-20. In the FY 2018-19, NHAI constructed 3,380 km of National Highways.
Initiatives taken to accelerate the pace of highway construction:
-The government has initiated a highway development programme in 2015 namely Bharatmala Pariyojana, which includes development of about 65,000 km of NHs. Under Phase-I of the programme, the government has approved implementation of 34,800 km of national highways projects with an outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crore in a period of five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22.The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been mandated to develop 27,500 km of NHs under Phase-I.
-Apart from above, the government has also revived stalled projects, streamlined land acquisition and acquisition of a major portion of land prior to inviting bids.
-Disputes resolution mechanism was revamped to avoid delays in completion of projects.
National Highways Development Programme (NHDP)
National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) was launched in 1998 with the objective of developing roads of international standards which facilitate smooth flow of traffic. It envisages creation of roads with enhanced safety features, better riding surface, grade separator and other salient features. National Highways constitute only 2% of the total road length in the country but carry 40% of the total traffic.
NHDP is being implemented by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), an organisation under the aegis of Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways. The programme is being implemented in the following seven phases;
Administrative control– Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
Chairman– Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu
The Government of India launched “Bharatmala Pariyojana”, a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. The project covering a whopping 34800 km of the road would be completed in a phased manner.
The Bharatmala Pariyojana was announced i, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India with an aim to improve the road network in the country. The budget for the scheme will be managed by the cess collected on petrol and diesel and the tax collected at toll booths, apart from the budgetary support provided by the Government.
The components of Bharatmala Pariyojana are
The Bharatmala project envisions to improve the efficiency of the National Corridor including the Golden-Quadrilateral and North, South –East West corridor by decongesting the choke points through the construction of elevated corridors, bypasses, ring roads, lane expansion and logistics parks at identified points.
The project plan includes the construction of Border Roads of strategic importance along international boundaries and International Connectivity roads to promote trade with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The programme has identified around 26,200 km of Economic Corridors or routes that have heavy freight traffic. The programme has planned to develop the identified Economic Corridors with heavy freight traffic, end to end to ensure seamless, speedy travel and uniformity in standards. Feeder Corridors will be developed so as to address the infrastructure asymmetry that exists in many places.
All projects implemented under Bharatmala are to be technically, financially and economically appraised by an empowered Project Appraisal &Technical Scrutiny Committee to be set up in National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
Features of Bharatmala Pariyojana
The scheme was initiated with an aim to improve road traffic and improve trade through road transportation. Some other key features of the Bharatmala Pariyojana include:
Highlights of Bharatmala Pariyojana
Challenges of Bharatmala Project
The Bharatmala project was announced in 2017 and was targetted to get completed by 2022. However, the latest reports suggest that the project currently is nowhere close to completion because of the increased land cost and the increase in the estimated budget for the project.
The Central Government is now looking in for more investments from funds collected from the market and any other private investment. If the estimated budget is not met, then the Government intends to auction completed highway projects or even look for foreign debts and bond markets.
The government will mobilize resources for Bharatmala through four different routes:
Of the total amount, Rs. 2 Lakh Crore are to be raised as debt from market borrowings, while Rs. 1 Lakh crore will be used from the accrued money in Central Road Fund and toll collections by NHAI.
This project will help in the economic growth of the country by increasing the corridors from 6 to 50. The Central Government, with the Bharatmala Project intent to increase trade, improve the condition of the National Highways and improve the network of roads in the country.
Source: TH/Gov Web
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