Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that pace of highway construction in the country has touched a record 37 km per day in FY21.
He added that the achievement was noteworthy as it was accomplished despite limitations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The transport ministry has constructed 13,394 km of highways in FY21. Hailing the remarkable feat, Gadkari said, "Tremendous progress has been achieved in building national highways across the country... We have achieved a road building pace of 37 km of highways a day," Gadkari said.
He added that the "achievements are unprecedented and have no parallel in any other country in the world".
Gadkari noted that over the past seven years, the length of national highways has gone up by 50 per cent from 91,287 km (as of April 2014) to 1,37,625 km (as on March 20, 2021).
"Cumulative cost of ongoing project works has increased by 54 per cent at the end of the financial year 2020-21, compared to the financial year 2019-20 (as on March 31)," the minister said.
Total budgetary outlay increased by 5.5 times, from Rs 33,414 crore in the financial year2015 to Rs 1,83,101 crore for the financial year 2022.
Sanctioned amount has increased by 126 per cent in the financial year 2020-21, over the financial year 2019-20 despite COVID-19-related impact, the minister said, adding that the sanctioned length in kilometres has also increased 9 per cent in FY21 over FY20.
Average annual project award (annual average award length) during the financial year 2015 to the financial year 2021 increased 85 per cent, compared to FY10 to FY14, as per the Ministry.
Average annual construction (average annual construction length) during FY2015 to FY2021 has increased by 83 per cent compared to FY2010 to FY2014, the ministry added.
The minister said that when he took over the charge of the ministry of highways, there were 406 stalled projects entailing an investment of Rs 3.85 lakh crore.
Gadkari said massive initiatives to resolve the deadlocks and accelerate the pace of highway building, including termination of projects worth Rs 40,000 crore, resulted in fast-tracking of the road building.
The government envisages building 34,800 km of highways at a cost of about Rs 5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojna.
(With inputs from PTI.)