Building 20 km of roads per day is too good to be true
It does not look that like the ambitious target of building 20 km of roads per day — set during UPA-2’s tenure — will become a reality in the near future.
In the first quarter (April-June) of 2013-14, the ministry of road transport and highways has managed to build just 13 km of roads per day. As against the target of constructing 5,942 km of roads during the first quarter, only 1,183 km has been built.
The ministry has already missed the 20 km per day target for four consecutive years. It was in 2009 that the then road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath announced his government’s ambitious target of building 20 km of roads per day. It was later endorsed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well.
Infrastructure analysts say that with the economy reeling under a slowdown, coupled with many developers facing a fund crunch, it is highly unlikely that the government will be able to meet the 20 km a day target in 2013-14.
To achieve this, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) — the central agency which is responsible for constructing national highways across the country — will not only have to award higher number of highway projects but will also have to build approximately 7,000 km of roads every year.
“Awarding of highway projects in the 2013-14 fiscal has yet to pick up pace. In the first quarter, only 339 km length of projects has been awarded as against the target of 916 km,” said an NHAI official.
In 2012-13, NHAI had managed to award about 1,093 km stretch against the target of 9,500.