NHAI Created History by Awarding Projects Worth Rs 1,22,000 Crores
Posted: Apr 10, 2018
The infrastructure sector in India is taking more and more positive strides day on day. The Government of India is leaving no opportunity to improve the infrastructure in India. The roadway sector in India, which is one of the largest trade facilitators, is catching the momentum of infrastructure growth. The sector is pulling/attracting investments from across the globe. Accordingly, the National Highways Authority of India, in the financial year of 2017-2018, sanctioned highway development projects worth Rs 1.2 lakh crores. This feat by the NHAI reflects the prospects of the highways sector in India.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is a statutory body of government of India, was created to develop and maintain a large chunk of the national highway network. This autonomous body works under the aegis of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). For the past 2 decades, the NHAI has embarked on a mission to upgrade the status/condition of the national highways of India. In the year 1998, it started a program named National Highways Development Program (NHDP) to modernise the national highways according to the changing times. In 2015, the government of India has launched ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’, a program aimed at configuring the national highways on par with the rising demands.
The ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ is one of the major factors that made NHAI award 150 new projects worth Rs 1,22,000 crores in the financial year 2017-18. 7,400 km of national highways will be developed under these 150 new projects. Compared to the average length of road projects flagged off by the NHAI in the last 5 financial years, which is 2,860 km, the financial year 2017-18 saw a great surge in the highways sector.
The rise in the speed of development of the projects is attributed to factors like change in the procedure of sanctioning projects under EPC and various measures/financial models that have been implemented by the NHAI for the last one year. Some of the measures taken by the NHAI are:
- The Hybrid Annuity Model, which is termed as a game-changer in the developmental works pertaining to highways, is boosting the confidence of investors with promised returns.
- The Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model is one of the revolutionary financial models of NHAI. This model is part of NHAI’s Asset Recycling Plan. Through this model, in the last financial year, the NHAI called for bids to maintain different stretches of the national highway network. The bids were successful and the NHAI earned good revenue out of them.
- From November 2017, the MoRTH delegated the NHAI board with powers of sanctioning Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) projects. To this effect, the NHAI has created two committees namely High powered Projects Appraisal Committee and Cost Committee.
This financial year 2018-19, is going to witness the same trend of awarding the contracts from NHAI. If the NHAI maintains the same momentum in the coming years, then the ambitious targets set under the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ by the government of India would be met by the NHAI.
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