The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on October 7 said it awarded projects for building 1,330 km of highways in April-September, worth Rs 47,289 crore. This is up 60 percent from the year-ago period despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“NHAI has awarded projects for a total cumulative length of 1,330 km in the current financial year. The projects awarded so far in first half of the current financial year are 1.6 times higher of 828 km awarded in FY19-20 and 3.5 times higher of 373 km awarded in FY 18-19 during the same period,” NHAI said in a statement.
It said the feat was achieved despite challenges posed by the pandemic and for the awarded projects, it has already completed at least 80-90 percent of the land acquisition, utilities shifting besides obtaining required forest and environment clearances.
During first half of the ongoing fiscal year, NHAI awarded a total of 40 projects covering 1,330 km length, it said adding that the capital cost of these 40 projects is Rs 47,289 crore, which includes cost of civil work, land acquisition, and other pre- construction activities.
The NHAI has set a target of awarding 4,500 km of projects during 2020-21 and is likely to exceed the target, it said.
“NHAI is committed to improve ease of doing business and facilitate better working relationship with all its stakeholders,” the statement said.
Recently, NHAI agreed to implement various suggestions made by different industry bodies towards improving National Highways.
In March 2020, NHAI disbursed Rs 10,000 crore through online payments and ensured that no payments remain pending due to closure of office during the lockdown.
In the first quarter of 2020-21, NHAI disbursed more than Rs 15,000 crore to the vendors, it said adding that additionally, steps such as monthly payment to the contractors were taken to ensure cash flow to them.
Such moderations will result in a spiralling effect not only on the growth of the road sector but will also play a critical role in nation building and advancing the growth of the Indian economy, it said.