Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is a man in a hurry. Recently, he announced the Rs 1-trillion Mumbai-Delhi Expressway, which will connect India’s two most backward districts, Mewat (Haryana) and Dahod (Gujarat). With this, the travel time will reduce from the current 24 hours to 12 hours. The first tender for the project worth Rs 440 billion between Mumbai and Vadodara has been floated. The expressway is scheduled for completion in three years. Further, the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build the 339-km Indore-Manmad railway line, worth Rs 100 billion. The Centre and six states of North India will sign a MoU for construction of the Lakhwar multi-purpose project in the Upper Yamuna basin in Uttarakhand, worth Rs 40 billion. Work on five major river linking projects, including the one that would transfer surplus water from Godavari to Cauvery, is expected to commence from December. According to Gadkari, a total of 31 river linking projects are under consideration under the National River Linking programme.
The value of new project announcements by the private sector rose for the first time in two years in the June 2018 quarter, as per analysis by CMIE. However, the bulk of them were made by foreign companies.
So although L&T reported a 37 per cent growth in order book during the quarter, it guided for a subdued 10-12 per cent order inflow growth for the full year, which is only a slight increase of over 7 per cent from the previous year.
Despite the deficit in infrastructure, the pace of public spending is keeping the economic spirits of India up, and the infrastructure sector seems to be back in favour. Given the elections next year, it is estimated that this pace will not slacken as the government wants to achieve numbers, which indicate an upswing in the economy by the time the government is ready to announce the Union Budget on February 1, 2019. This augurs well for a swell in the economic tide.
While contracts are being awarded, it is also time for awards. FIRST Construction Council, the think tank has completed its exercise in identifying winners across verticals. First off, CONSTRUCTION WORLD is hosting its 13th CONSTRUCTION WORLD Architect & Builder Awards on September 11, 2018, in Mumbai (look for our new column on architecture on page 116). On October 24-25, it will then host the INDIA CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL, which will bring the best and the biggest with the fastest construction companies in India. This issue’s cover story is devoted to bringing you in touch with the nominees of the fastest growing companies in the country.
If Graham Robinson, the eminent economist from the UK – who is the keynote speaker for the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Global Awards being held on October 24 – is right, and India becomes the fastest construction market in the world by 2030, then keep an eye on the nominees as they have already begun to set the pace.