Road construction till February, in the current fiscal, touched a total of 6,604 km, averaging at 20 km per day, which is higher than the 6,061 km constructed during FY16, averaging 16.61 km per day, said ministry sources, revealing that NHAI constructed around 2,350 km of highways during the April-February period and the remaining was done by the ministry. NHAI had constructed 1,770 km of highways during the same period last fiscal. The ministry is going to award 3,000-km road projects in Maharashtra in the current month and the 1,500-km highway projects would be awarded in other states during the month. In its entirety, NHAI awarded 3,000 km of highway projects in the first 11 months of the current fiscal, while the remaining 6,700 km has been awarded by the road ministry.
During the period, the pace of awarding of highway projects has also gone up by nearly 17% to 9,700 km compared with 8,300 km during the same period. NHAI, which had awarded 3,402 km of highway projects during the April-February period of last fiscal, is facing land acquisition problems to bid out highway projects faster. Now a highway project is awarded only after 90% of the required land is in possession. Of the total projects awarded so far in the current fiscal, a maximum (7,634 km) of them have gone through the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) model while the remaining 2,066 km, through the BOT (toll), BOT (annuity), and HAM models. The ministry targeted to build 15,000-km highways and award projects totaling to 25,000 km in the current fiscal. Ministry sources said that construction might touch 8,000 km this fiscal, while awards could exceed 14,000 km.