As against Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath’s ambitious target of constructing 20 km of highways a day, the Planning Commission believes that his ministry can barely achieve six km a day.
In a new move, the Planning Commission has set up monitoring targets for six infrastructure sectors. The commission’s Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has set a target of constructing 2,500 km of highways for Nath’s ministry in financial year, 2010-11. Nath had said that his ministry will construct more than 7,000 km of road annually.
In fact, the new target is lower than the target for last financial year of 3,165 km, which the road ministry failed to meet. They could construct barely 2,009 km in 2009-10.
“We want to give a major fillip to the infrastructure sector through these targets,” Ahluwalia said. So far, the targets given were of expenditure but not of its outcomes. “If in our judgement there is a problem in a particular sector it will be referred to the Prime Minister or we may also take it to the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure to have a political decision to sort it out.”
The commission will also monitor work of sectors such as power, civil aviation, railways and ports. “These targets will create a right pressure on ministries to perform,” he said.
In case of civil aviation, the panel has also set a target of spending Rs 2,635 crore in four airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
Upset with Railways for the slow pace of work, the panel has set targets for each project that has been delayed for years.
In the ports sector, the plan panel has set a target of awards of contracts in 21 of the total 40 projects in the Public Private Partnership at an estimated expenditure of Rs 13,891 crore.