Construction and expansion of national highways touched 15 km a day during 2012-13, registering an increase of over 4 km per day. Though this is much less than the government’s commitment to construct 20 km per day, it has come as a relief to the Union Highways Ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in light of very few projects on public-private-partnership (PPP) being bagged by highway developers.
Increase in highway construction and expansion – about 5,800 km-comes before Planning Commission member BK Chaturvedi holds a review meeting of this sector. Both NHAI and agencies undertaking projects under the ministry have improved their performance. While last year the highways authority had constructed only 2,248 km, this year it is close to 2,800 km.
NHAI undertakes only those road projects which fall under the NH Development Project (NHDP). On the other hand, the Highways Ministry takes up all non-NHDP works including road development in north-east region and left wing extremist (LWE) regions. Even state Public Works Departments (PWDs) undertake highways expansion and construction works on behalf of the ministry.