The current Narendra Modi led government has built more than 33,000 km of highways in four and a half years, higher than what previous UPA government could achieve in seven years, reports Financial Express.
The NDA has built 33,361 km of highways, a little more than what UPA did in the seven years between FY08 and FY14.
The construction targets set by the Minister of Road and Transport, Nitin Gadkari have been ambitious. While last year, the target was 40 km per day, this year it was raised further to 45 km a day.
Under last year of UPA-2, FY14, the output had fallen to a meagre 11.7 km per day which has been more than doubled to 27 km a day in FY18, though still far from minister’s ambitious target.
During the first four years of the current government, the award of highway projects amounted to 51,073 km, double the level achieved by UPA during its last four years. The target for awards in 2018-19 is set at 20,000 km, higher than 17,055 km awarded during 2017-18.
The achievement of the government becomes more significant in view of the fact that fast tracking of projects has occurred despite persisting twin balance sheet problem. On one hand there is weak lending sentiment amongst the NPA-riddled banks and on the other are equally reluctant private investors whose ships sank due to lower-than-expected toll receipts.
The current government took several measures to ensure progress in road-building projects. One was the hybrid annuity model (HAM) that was launched to reinvigorate the PPP model in which government bears 40 per cent of the cost.
The government also eased the exit policy for developers freeing capital to shift to new projects, expedited land acquisition and introduced one-time fund infusion scheme in stalled projects.