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India presses on with highway development

Ministry list out main projects for 2018

Around 53,000 km of National Highways (NHs) have been identified to improve National Corridor efficiency, of which 24,800 km are to be taken up in Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase I, to be implemented over a period of five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22 in a phased manner.

This includes 5,000 km of the National Corridors, 9,000 km of Economic Corridors, 6,000 km of Feeder Corridors and lnter-Corridors, 2,000 km of Border Roads, 2,000 km of Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity Roads and 800 km of Green-field Expressways.

Likely fund provision for Bharatmala Phase-I is Rs.535,000 crore, making it a major driver for economic growth in the country, said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a project update.

Twenty-four road projects, covering 395-km, have been sanctioned for linking four prominent Dhams, namely, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedranath and Badrinath, in the Uttrakhand state.

Twenty-two works covering a length of 340 kilometre have been awarded out of the 889-km road development of two lane and paved shoulders. Costing Rs.12,000 crore, these projects are being implemented under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts for completion by March 2020.

Bids have been invited for the First package of phase-1 of the 473 km expressway which will link Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway to Mumbai-Pune Expressway thus providing Expressway connectivity from Ahmedabad to Pune for a length of about 650-km.

The project will be taken up in three phases. Land acquisition, environment clearance etc are at advanced stage of approval for Phase I and II.

The processes of land acquisition, environment and other pre-construction activities are under progress for the 262-km Bangalore-Chennai Expressway.

It is a green-field alignment and will be operated with a closed toll system. There are two existing roads connecting Bangalore-Chennai, one is via Hoskote (Bangalore)-AP then to Chennai & second is via Electronic City (Bangalore) Hosur (Tamil Nadu) and then to Chennai. The alignment of proposed expressway is passing in between these two stretches.

Work has started on a four-lane Bridge to connect the mainland at Okha to Byet-Dwarka Island off the Gujarat Coast. The 2.32 km bridge project is scheduled for completion in 30 months.
Costing Rs.689.47 crores, it will be the longest span cable stayed bridge in India with the main span of 500 metres.

Consultants have completed their report and undertaken the condition assessment of more than 162,000 bridges and culverts has been completed.

Immediate restoration/replacement is required for 147 distressed bridge structures.

A time-bound action plan to undertake repairs and restoration or construction of new bridges in place of the decadent structures has been put in place, said the Ministry.

The Ministry has sanctioned nine road over bridges (RoBs), costing about Rs.576.58 crore during FY 2017-18.
These projects are part of the 208 RoBs or Road under Bridges (RuBs), a scheme also known as Setu Bharatam, and costing Rs.20,800 crore.

DPRs for 127 ROBs have been done, out of which 78 ROBs, costing Rs.6,428.57 crore have been sanctioned till 31.03.2017. Thirty-five of these projects have been awarded.

The Ministry is expecting bids for the first bundle of 9 NHs under the Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) scheme on 9.1.2018. The scheme envisages bidding of bundled national highways for a concession period of 30 years.

Seventy-three projects of 8,187 km and costing Rs.100,000 crore were identified as Languishing Projects.

The Ministry said it is addressing the issues related to the projects. This, inter alia, includes (a) One Time Fund Infusion Scheme (OTFIS) whereby financial assistance is provided by NHAI to the contractor/ concessionaire in the form of a working capital loan, (b) Rationalized Compensation whereby a one-time compensation, equivalent to annuities that were missed on account of delay in completion of the project , is provided to the concessionaire in the case of BOT (Annuity) projects; (c) Extension of concession period, (d) Substitution of concessionaire & Termination.

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