Due to delays in environment clearance and issues of land acquisition building 20 km of highways a day is not sustainable, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has said on January 17.
NHAI Chairman RP Singh told the media that building 20 km (of roads) a day target is not sustainable. There is no point in rushing up with projects where NHAI do not get environment clearance.
NHAI must deal with these projects in a way the private equity gets interested, Singh added. He said raising equity was a major concern for awarding road projects of 10,000 kms a year, including 7,000 km of national highways. It requires Rs 90,000 crore investment, of which one-third (Rs 30,000 crore) should be private equity.
Achieving up to 60 per cent of the target would be meaningful if the government manages to maintain current rate, he said on the sidelines of a FICCI conference on highways. His remark comes at a time when NHAI has barely managed to award about 1,000 km of contracts so far this fiscal as against a target of 9,500 km, fixed by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
He hoped that NHAI will certainly exceed award of contracts for building 2,500 km. The UPA government in 2009 has unveiled its ambitious target of building 35,000 km of highways in five years, which translates into constructing 20 km of roads in a day. So far, the target was never achieved and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had expressed concern over it.
Private developers have not shown any big interest of late in bidding highways projects.