NHAI sets to clear over Rs.1,000 cr contracts

    NHAI
    In an attempt to fast track the road projects being built under Bharatmala program, the Centre government is in the process of empowering NHAI to approve projects with a construction cost of over Rs.1,000 crore. Currently, all highway projects that entail a construction cost of more than Rs.1,000 crore, excluding land, need to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). As per the proposal, only PPP projects under the build-operate-transfer model, where viability gap funding is to be provided, will need CCEA nod. Bharatmala envisions 44 economic corridors across the country at a cost of at least Rs.5 lakh-rore. The program, along with the proposal to enhance NHAI's powers, is likely to get Cabinet clearance soon. The Bharatmala corridors have been mapped as per traffic density and economic relevance of the cities that will be connected with the help of the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics. The project involves constructing 24,000 km of new highways and aimed at speeding up cargo movement and the development of multimodal logistics hubs and parks on the periphery of major commercial centres. Under the program, which includes the construction of feeder routes alongside national highways, about 80% of projects will be based on a government funded EPC model while the rest will be based on the hybrid-annuity and public private partnership models.
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