Recent data released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) indicates that the Narendra Modi government has built 73% more highways in its first four years in office as compared to the last four years of the former UPA government. This is a momentous achievement which the NDA government can, in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, not just look up to, but possibly even take advantage of to remain in office.
So far, the incumbent government has constructed a total of 28,531 km national highways since FY 2014-15, contrasting with 16,505 km by the previous government up to FY 2013-14, a clear gain of an astounding 12,026 kms, the Financial Express reported.
The implementation of the construction projects is done through the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) route. Under EPC, the government invites bids from companies which have expertise in engineering and construction. Once a successful bid has been placed, the government hands over the contract to the company and provides 100% funding. The company is then accountable for every single aspect of the project, viz. procuring materials, labor, implementation, maintenance, etc.
Over the last few years, under the NDA government, construction of national highways has steadily increased. Until May 2014, the construction rate of highways stood at 11.67 km per day. The current regime has steadily raised the construction rate to the present 26.9 km per day in FY 2017-18.
In FY 2017-18, the government built 9,829 km; 8,231 km in FY 2016-17; 6,061 km in FY 2015-16; and 4,410 km in FY 2014-15. For FY 2018-19, the MoRTH is set out to achieve a target of 45 km per day.
Additionally, the government is actively addressing policy issues that hinder highway development. It has streamlined the exit policy which will enable developers to invest in new projects, land acquisition has been expedited, and one-time fund infusion scheme has been introduced which aids in resurrecting languishing projects.