In what could be considered a moderate pace of highway construction in the current fiscal year, the 2021-22 economic study today indicates that 3,824 km of roads were built from April to September ( first half) of this year. This translates to an average construction per day of 20.89 km, just over half of the 36.5 km per day during the 2020-21 lockdown.
“There has been a steady increase in motorway/national road construction since 2013-14 with 13,327km of roads built in 2020-21 compared to 10,237km in 2019-20, an increase of 30.2% from compared to the previous year. . In 2021-22 (until September), 3,824 km of road network has been built,” says an economic study, highlighting the decrease in the pace of highway construction in the current fiscal year.
“In 2021-22 (until September), 3,824 km of road network was built. The extent of road construction per day increased significantly in 2020-21 to 36.5 km per day from 28 km per day in 2019-20, an increase of 30.4% over the previous year », says the Economic Survey.
It can be said with certainty that at the current rate, the construction of highways in the current fiscal year will represent a little more than half of the record achievement of the previous fiscal year. The survey, however, does not list the reasons for the lackluster performance of the ministry, which is one of the leading ministries along with the railway ministry in terms of capital allocation in recent years.
It can be noted that the construction of highways per day of 20.89 km represents almost half of the annual target of 40 km per day set by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
The slowing pace of highway construction despite a large number of active contracts is a cause for concern. According to Ministry of Transport data, highway contracts worth ₹9,22,404 crore are under construction as of March 31, 2021. Not only the construction of highways, even the award of highway contracts by the department has slowed in the current fiscal year. According to ministry data, highway contracts worth 5,835 km were awarded between April and December, compared to 7,767 km in the same period of the previous fiscal year.