Construction of highway projects slow, contracts awarded less than target

Construction of highway projects slow, contracts awarded less than target

New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways awarded contracts for only 370 km of highways in January, far short of the revised target of 10,000 km for 2023-24, with just two months left. According to official information, the Indian National Highways has issued contracts for the construction of 3,481 km of highways in 2024. Which is about 60 percent less than last year.

The ministry had targeted to award contracts for 16,000 km in 2024, but revised cost estimates for the Bharatmala project slowed the pace. The ministry had taken up the matter with the Union Cabinet in November. In which the ministry warned that awarding less contracts in this financial year will affect the future.

The ministry is considering issuing tenders for 10,000 km of roads. With Lok Sabha elections approaching, the Center needs to award about 6,500 km of highway contracts in the next two months. In such a situation, experts believe that this contract is much more than expected.

Experts believe that this contract will be very big. No change is expected in the award of the highway project in the next two months. Especially since the election code of conduct will come into force in March, this will create hurdles for the ministry. This year contracts for 6,000-6,500 kilometers can be given.

According to experts, awarding of small number of contracts will not have any significant impact on the capital expenditure of the sector in the financial year 2025. Because there is a gap of 9 to 12 months between the date of award of tender and the date of commencement of the project. At present work on many projects is going well. Its impact will be more visible in the financial year 2026 because fewer contracts will be given.

This year the construction of highways started slowly but then started gaining momentum. Last month, 1,442 kilometers of roads were constructed, which is 40 percent more than January last year.

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