While a collapse in the investment growth led to the weakness in the real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the September quarter, there was a bright spot too. The road transport infrastructure services industry witnessed a healthy turnaround in project completions, which surged 57.3 per cent year-on-year in the September quarter compared to a contraction of around 69 per cent in the June quarter. Projects worth Rs 15,917 crore were completed in the industry in Q2FY20. This was higher than the project completions seen in the year-ago quarter and the preceding quarter. Projects entailing an investment of Rs 10,118 crore were completed in Q2FY18 and projects worth Rs 9,300 crore got commissioned in Q1FY19.
As per CMIE's capex database, a total of 862.5 kms were added in Q2FY19. Even as the figure was higher than 703.9 kms witnessed in the Q1FY19, it was much lower than that in the Q2FY18 with only 1,481.2 kms getting completed.
Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh together accounted for almost 62.9 per cent of the total value of completed projects in the quarter under review. In Maharashtra, four projects having an investment of Rs 5,591 crore were commissioned in the quarter. Among these, Aurangabad-Yedeshi (NH-211) Four Lane Highway Project had the largest investment of Rs 341 crore. This was also the largest project in terms of investment that was commissioned in the Q2FY19. The second largest project in terms of investment was Yavatmal to Wardha (NH-361) Four Laning Highway Project, which entailed an investment of Rs 104 crore.
Uttar Pradesh with a share of 27.7 per cent in the total value of completed projects saw a commissioning of two projects with an investment of Rs 4,416 crore.
The list of completed projects for the quarter under review included a project that was announced in April 1993. The project was about building a 188.4-metre long four-lane cable stayed railway overbridge (RoB) at Bardhaman in West Bengal. Although the bridge was announced in 1993, the work was kicked off in 2012.
As per a recent Lok Sabha reply by the Minsiter of Road Transport and Highways, award of road projects covering a length of 4,471 km with an approximate cost of Rs 50,000 crore has been targeted during next three months. "168 road projects covering the length of 3215 kms have been awarded since April, 2019 till date," the minister added.