Workers level a newly constructed stretch of road on the outskirts of New Delhi. (Photographer: Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News)  

India Increases Highway Award Target After A Record Year

India increased highway award target after handing out contracts for record length in the previous financial year.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways set a target of awarding over 20,000 kilometres length of national highways in the year through March 2019, according to its statement. That’s 25 percent more than the previous financial year.

The construction target for the ongoing financial year has been set at 16,420 km, of which 9,700 km will be built by the ministry, 6,000 km by the National Highways Authority of India and 720 km by the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation.

Traffic moves along a highway as residential buildings stand in the background in the Hebbal area of Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Lakshmi Samyukta/Bloomberg)
Traffic moves along a highway as residential buildings stand in the background in the Hebbal area of Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Lakshmi Samyukta/Bloomberg)

Also Read: Breakneck Pace of India Road Awards May Set $15 Billion Record

In the last financial year, the actual construction was about 9,829 km compared to 17,055 kilometers of awards. Yet, the pace of construction has improved since year ended March 2014 period. India awarded contracts worth Rs 1.6 lakh crore in 2017-18 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushes to create jobs ahead of the next general election in 2019.

The ministry is making all-out efforts for improving and strengthening the highways network in the country, Nitin Gadkari, the minister in charge, said in the statement. This year the focus would be more on construction, and the awards too would be more than last year, he said.

Gadkari planned to build 41 km every day. That fell short with the construction reaching 27 km a day. Yet, the ministry has increased the target for the ongoing financial year to 45 km a day.

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