The ministry of road transport and highways, in a two-day exercise to review the ongoing projects in the country, established that the central government in the last four years has completed 40 per cent of the 700 ongoing national highway (NH) projects in India.
More than 300 projects were identified to have been completed in 2019, with the central government achieving the highest ever construction in the financial year 2018-19.
In order to boost highway construction, transport minister Nitin Gadkari had pegged construction rate at 45 km per day in the current financial year from the previous 24 km per day.
Due to the government’s relentless efforts the length of the national highway, which stood at about 91287 km in 2014 reached about 131326 km currently followed by the central decision to declare about 39040 km length of state roads as new National Highways.
Additionally, the transport ministry has also approved of declaring about 53,031 km of state roads as new national highways.
In comparison to the 4942 km of the highways constructed until November 2017, the central government completed about 5759 km of highways during the corresponding period in the current financial year. A total of 2105 km was awarded in contracts till November as against 2927 km during the same period, last year.
The transport ministry claiming to have set a self-target of constructing 16,420 km and awarding 20,000 km of National Highways during the current financial year, in its statement said, “The ministry’s focus is to ensure that pre-construction activities are substantially completed before awarding of projects”.
By far, until November 2018, the transport minister’s home state, Maharashtra, has witnessed maximum highway construction of 1214.32 km.
The BJP government managed to construct 66.95 km, 466.51 km, 414.33 km of highways in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively. The leap the transport ministry has taken from a total construction of 4,410 km in 2014-15 to constructing 9,829 km and awarding 17,055 km in 2017-18 has been huge.
Kushal Singh, partner, Deloitte India, reiterated that “Highway construction has definitely improved, one key aspect which led to this was the decision of the government to not award a project unless 80% land is in possession. The average for completion of projects has come down and that can majorly be attributed to land availability,” he said.
Keeping Prime Minister’s vision of ‘transformation by transportation’ for Northeast in view and giving a boost to Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy, the centre reportedly sanctioned around Rs 190,000 crore worth of projects for the construction of road projects for over 12,000 km in the North-East alone.
Amongst various other achievements, it was reported how in the last four years under Modi rule, 240 per cent more houses in urban areas were sanctioned as compared to those sanctioned under the 10 year of UPA government led by Congress.
According to the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri had stated that the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna has been a roaring success and the target of providing houses to all urban poor will be achieved before 2022.