The Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry has scaled down its projects award target by nearly half to 5,000 km for this financial year compared to target of 9,500 km in 2012-13. Keeping in view of a dismal show last fiscal, the government has cut down the awarding of the road contracts. Last fiscal, the Ministry was barely able to award 15 per cent of the targeted 9,500 km of highways.
Given the lukewarm response by the bidders last fiscal owing to a number of factors including delay in clearances and equity crunch, the Ministry was in favour of fixing a target of 4,028 Km for 2013-14 but later it was increased to 5,000 km at the instance of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The PMO was also concerned that post award of the projects, mainly on the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode, the Ministry left it to developers and so has instructed it to ensure proper monitoring and implementation of projects, the official added.
As far as the target for award of roads on OMT (operate, maintain and transfer) mode is concerned, the Road Ministry has fixed it at 1,295 Km. Last fiscal, the Ministry could award 1,812 km against an ambitious target of 19,387 km.
Besides a target of 3,000 km has been fixed for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to complete contracts during the fiscal. NHAI had completed 2,845 km in 2012-13 against the target of 3,000 km. As far as the target for collecting toll revenue by NHAI is concerned, the Ministry has set a target of 3,595 km.