To fast-track building of highways, the government on Friday cleared projects worth Rs 17,000 crore.
Eighteen projects for building about 1,000 kms of highways, including nine on the recently approved hybrid annuity mode, will be awarded by March 2017.
“The standing committee on finance has cleared 18 projects worth approximately Rs 16,614 crore. These are in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,” highways secretary Sanjay Mitra said.
Last year, the Cabinet had empowered the highways ministry to clear projects worth up to Rs 1,000 crore.
Of the 18 projects, while eight will be awarded on engineering procurement and construction (EPC) mode where 100% funding will be given by the government, nine will be on the new hybrid annuity model where the government will provide 40% of the construction cost and the developer will invest the remaining 60%.
Only one of the project — four laning of the 67-km Dhule to Aurangabad section in Maharashtra — is on the BOT (build-operate-transfer or toll) mode, where the developers puts the entire project cost and recovers his investment by collecting toll over the concession period.
“Land acquisition and environment clearance for these projects would be completed by February,” a senior ministry official said.
The ministry has set a target of awarding 10,000 km of highways before the end of 2015-16. The construction target has been set at 30 km per day.