• Road building pace at all-time high of 20 km a day: Nitin Gadkari

    Road construction in India has accelerated to an all-time high pace of 20 kilometres per day, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday. Gadkari said that his ministry will be constructing 25 km of roads per day by the time the Narendra Modi led NDA government completes two years next month.

    The current pace is a third more than the previous best of 15 km per day achieved in 2012. “We’ll touch our target of 30 kilometres per day in another five-six months,” Gadkari said at industry body CII’s annual session.

    In the current financial year, the government has a target of constructing 10,000 km of greenfield highways, for which it has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 57,000 crore. Gadkari said that his ministry has proposed the formation of dispute resolution mechanism to the finance ministry for projects that are stuck.

    “We have requested the finance ministry to form a four-member dispute resolution cell for road projects for early implementation of stuck projects,” he said.

    About 14 road projects with an investment of over Rs 25,000 crore are stuck due to various reasons including cost escalation. Gadkari said adoption of a projectspecific approach to address the issue of stalled projects has already resolved about 85% of these projects.

    “The emphasis now has been on awarding the projects under the innovative hybrid annuity and toll-operate-transfer mode so that there are more opportunities for private sector investment,” Gadkari said.

    The minister said the government has already awarded contracts worth Rs 1.8 lakh crore. “We’ll award road construction projects worth Rs 3 lakh crore by 2017,” he said. He also urged the private sector to develop lighthouses and islands in and around waterways which will spur tourism as well. 

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