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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Now, new concept to measure length of highways from April 1

Experts and government officials said the change would better capture the actual length of highways constructed in the country.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2018 23:26 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
The lane kilometer method involves measuring the length of each new lane that is built instead of counting the overall length of the highway.
The lane kilometer method involves measuring the length of each new lane that is built instead of counting the overall length of the highway. (HT File Photo)
         

Starting April 1, the government has adopted the so-called lane kilometre concept for measuring its highways instead of the traditional linear length method, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

Experts and government officials said the change would better capture the actual length of highways constructed in the country.

The lane kilometer method involves measuring the length of each new lane that is built instead of counting the overall length of the highway. For instance, one km of a four lane highway will be counted as four km under the method.

“This is a more realistic assessment of the total length that has been constructed. It is an internationally adopted norm… countries like United States follows this standard,” Gadkari said.

He added that on April 5 when the NHAI Board meets to decide the road construction target for 2017-18 it will be done on the basis of lane km.

Going by lane km, the total length of highways constructed during 2017-18 fiscal comes to 34,378 km as against 9829 km if counted linearly.

Union road secretary YS Malik said the decision to follow the lane km concept is not to bump up the highway construction figures, but to reflect reality. “Building a two lane highway with paved shoulder costs anywhere between Rs 6 crore to Rs 8 crore per km. The per km cost shoots up anywhere between Rs 14 crore to Rs 20 crore for a four lane highway. Our view was that this difference in cost and the effort should be reflected,” Malik said.

Experts say private highway developers have been using it for years, but the government’s adoption of the lane km method sanctity. Deepak Dasgupta, chairman, IL&FS Transportation Network Limited (ITNL) said, “ITNL uses lane km format when talking of roads managed by it. But once the ministry adapts this, it becomes a standard.”

Dasgupta, a former NHAI chairman during whose tenure the National Highway Development Programme was launched in the 90s said, “Instead of using lane km, a much better measure to show the sector’s growth will be the expenditure on construction. This will show the increase in spending.”

Abhaya Agarwal, partner (infrastructure), EY India said that internationally lane km is used quite frequently. “It is a better representation of the activity on the ground. It will give a better picture year on year.”

First Published: Apr 03, 2018 23:26 IST

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