Roads Min Raises Tar­get 2.5 Times to Lay 40km a Day

In 2016-17, NHAI will con­struct 8,000 km & NHIDCL 7,000 km

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

New Delhi: The road trans­port and high­ways min­istry has set an am­bi­tious tar­get of lay­ing more than 40 km of roads ev­ery day in 2016-17, more than dou­ble the cur­rent pace.

A se­nior of­fi­cial said the Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia (NHAI) will con­struct 8,000 km in the fis­cal year while the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (NHIDCL), which lays roads in hilly ar­eas, will con­struct 7,000 km. The roads award tar­get has been set at 25,000 km against the 10,000 km awarded last year, the of­fi­cial added.

“The con­struc­tion tar­get has been set at 15,000 km against the 6,000 km con­structed last year. How­ever, the bud­get for the cur­rent year has set the con­struc­tion tar­get at 10,000 km,” the of­fi­cial said. “We are con­fi­dent of do­ing much bet­ter than the bud­get tar­get set by the fi­nance min­is­ter.”

Of the to­tal length of na­tional high­ways tar­geted for award, 15,000 km would be awarded by NHAI and 10,000 km by NHIDCL, the min­istry said in a state­ment.

In 2015-16, the min­istry was able to award 10,000 km of high­way con­tracts worth .₹ 1 lakh crore.

In the cur­rent bud­get, the road min­istry has got an al­lo­ca­tion of .₹ 57,000 crore and NHAI has been al­lowed to raise tax-free bonds of .₹ 15,000 crore. The min­istry is also look­ing at ad­di­tional op­tions to raise funds through EPFO and LIC and by leas­ing out ex­ist­ing projects on tol­lop­er­ate-trans­fer (TOT) model.

“We are look­ing at award­ing con­tracts worth .₹ 2.5 lakh crore. We are al­ready in talks with LIC and EPFO to raise .₹ 1 lakh crore. The re­main­ing amount would be raised through leas­ing out our al­ready con­structed na­tional high­ways to pen­sion fund and PE play­ers un­der the TOT model,” the of­fi­cial said. NHAI is mak­ing cash­less pay­ment mech­a­nism (FASTag) op­er­a­tional at 275 toll plazas from Mon­day.

FASTag will of­fer near non-stop move­ment of ve­hi­cles through toll plazas and con­ve­nience of cash­less pay­ments of toll fee with na­tion­wide in­ter op­er­a­ble elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion ser­vices. In­dia has 350 toll plazas. FASTag will be­come op­er­a­tional at the re­main­ing toll plazas within a year. NHAI will give10% cash back in­cen­tive on toll pay­ments for FASTag users.

Ac­cord­ing to a study by Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia and IIM Kolkata, .₹ 60,000 crore is lost on ac­count of de­lays at var­i­ous check posts. NHAI has tied up with ICICI Bank and Axis Bank for the ser­vice. FASTag has a one-time fee of Rs 200 and is af­fixed on the wind screen of the ve­hi­cle. It em­ploys RFID tech­nol­ogy for mak­ing toll pay­ments di­rectly from the pre­paid ac­count linked to it.

FASTag will be avail­able on sale from se­lected toll plazas on na­tional high­ways and des­ig­nated branches of par­tic­i­pat­ing banks. Th­ese can be recharged by mak­ing pay­ments through cheque or on­line. The min­i­mum recharge amount is .₹ 100 and the max­i­mum is .₹ 1 lakh for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles.

The roads award tar­get has been set at 25,000 km against the 10,000 km awarded last year

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