High­ways Min­istry Chalks Out .₹ 25Kcr Road Map for Hill States

Plans to build 2,000 km of high­ways in 12 states un­der EPC or hy­brid an­nu­ity model

The Economic Times - - Economy - Rajat.Arora@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The govern­ment is pre­par­ing a .₹ 25,000-crore plan for con­struc­tion of about 2,000 kilo­me­tres of high­ways in 12 hill states in the country.

Of­fi­cials said the high­est num­ber of high­way kilo­me­tres will be awarded in Arunachal Pradesh, fol­lowed by Jammu and Kash­mir, Mi­zo­ram, Hi­machal Pradesh and Ma­nipur.

Ma­jor­ity of th­ese projects will be awarded as per the govern­ment funded model of engi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion or EPC while a few high trac­tion projects that con­nect re­li­gious places in Hi­machal Pradesh and Jammu and Kash­mir will be taken up in ac­cor­dance with the newly con­ceived hy­brid an­nu­ity model, they said.

The tar­get for the cur­rent fis­cal for th­ese states is more than dou­ble of that in 2015-16, when the govern­ment man­aged to award projects adding to a lit­tle less than 1,000 km. “Projects worth .₹ 10,000 crore were awarded in hill states last year, only 10% of the to­tal projects awarded in the country. This year, we’re fo­cus­ing more on hill states as they bor­der with China, Nepal and Pak­istan, and are of high strate­gic im­por­tance to In­dia,” a se­nior trans­port min­istry of­fi­cial said, re­quest­ing not to be named.

The Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice has also asked the road trans­port and high­ways min­istry to in­crease the pace of road de­vel­op­ment in th­ese states.

The min­istry plans to award projects of about 300 km in Arunachal Pradesh, 256 in Mi­zo­ram, close to 250 km each in Jammu and Kash­mir and Hi­machal Pradesh, 100 km in Ma­nipur and the re­main­ing in Ut­tarak­hand, As­sam, Sikkim, Na­ga­land and West Ben­gal.

Most of th­ese projects will be un­der­taken by the newly con­sti­tuted Na­tional High­ways and In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. “In all th­ese states, we will be di­vid­ing our road con­tracts into small pack­ages so that they can be awarded to lo­cal con­trac­tors to gen­er­ate road build­ing ca­pac­ity at lo­cal level and in­crease lo­cal em­ploy­ment,” the of­fi­cial said.

In 2015-16, the min­istry awarded about 10,000 km of high­way con­tracts worth .₹ 1 lakh crore. The con­struc­tion pace picked up, with the govern­ment con­struct­ing nearly 6,300 km at the rate of al­most18 km a day on av­er­age.

For the cur­rent year, the tar­get is to con­struct nearly 10,000 km that will ac­cel­er­ate the pace of road con­struc­tion to 28 km per day. In the bud­get for the cur­rent fis­cal, the road trans­port and high­ways min­istry got an al­lo­ca­tion of .₹ 57,000 crore and the Na­tional High­ways De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity has been al­lowed to raise tax-free bonds worth .₹ 15,000 crore.

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