Govt aimed to build 15,000 km of roads in 2016-17 but laid down only 8,200 km
This construction figure, however, is the highest that the ministry has achieved till date and more than double of what the previous UPA government managed.
The Narendra Modi government built 22 km of roads per day in 2016-17, missing its ambitious target of constructing 41 km every day.
Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari had set an all-time high target of building 15,000 km of roads in 2016-17 but only managed 8,200 km of roads.
This construction figure, however, is the highest that the ministry has achieved till date and more than double of what the previous UPA government managed. Between 2009 and 2014, on an average 6 km to 9 km of roads were built per day.
Gadkari had also set a target of awarding 25,000-km of stretch under highway projects in 2016-17 as compared to 10,000 km last fiscal.“We managed to award around 14,000 km by March 31. Though we have not met the target, this is the highest figure so far,” said a senior road ministry official.
Officials said delay in land acquisition and tepid response from private developers came in the way of the ministry meeting its target. “But the Centre according priority to roads helped in achieving an all-time high construction and award figures,” the official added.
The highway sector had hit a rough patch since 2007. However, under the Modi government, between 2014-15 and 2016-17, the overall allocation to the sector increased by 73% — from ₹1.3 lakh crore to ₹2.25 lakh crore.
The PM has been regularly reviewing the progress of the sector through his monthly meetings where he interacts with central and state officials through video conference, to resolve bottlenecks holding up projects.
The ministry has initiated a series of measures to de-centralise work . “In the last two-and-a-half years, we resolved issues that were stalling about 80 projects. Only a handful of projects are stuck as of now,” said a senior NHAI official.
Besides, the ministry also empowered states to appraise projects worth up to ₹100 crore and invite tenders. Earlier, all such projects used to come under the Centre, resulting in delays.
It also introduced a new model called “hybrid annuity” where the government gives 40 % of the construction cost while the developer invests the remaining 60 %. So far 26 projects have been awarded under the new model.