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1.Roads - Highway to Growth

M Murali examines the key developments in the Indian roads sector and the huge potential to take the sector to a brighter 2016. India has the second largest road network in the world, aggregating 4.7 million km.

2.Step up contracts!

The industrial policy statement of July 24, 1991, set the notes on which the elephant learnt to dance. Manmohan Singh´s reform Budget scrapped industrial licensing and the requirement to get clearance from the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission

3.Better port connectivity – Road ministry, NHAI to take up 82 highway projects

Aiming at improving port connectivity in the country, the road transport ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will together take up 82 projects under the ambitious Bharatmala project.

4.Coastal highway connecting Odisha, Bengal to be READY by Feb

Detail project reports for the 451-km ambitious coastal highway proposed under Bharatmala Pariyojna along the Odisha coast is expected to be completed by February next. More than 178 villages in six coastal districts of Odisha and one in West Bengal would be connected by the road project.

5.Bouquets, Brickbats and a Wishlist

2016 promises to be remembered as the year of demonetisation. Certainly, the initiative has slowed project execution and the growth momentum. Contractors have been busy, making arrangements on site to open bank accounts for workers and switching to online payments for petty supplies. Want of upfront cash has also slowed down the movement of goods.

6.Cabinet clears Rs 7 trillion worth of roads

The government has announced an ambitious road outlay of Rs 6.92 trillion for the development of a network covering 86,377 km by 2022. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has reportedly said that the large amount of infrastructural spending will encourage private sector investment.

7.New highway development plan provides huge opportunities for construction companies; however, target looks ambitious: ICRA

The Cabinet has approved the proposal for Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I along with other programs on October 24, 2017, which involves national highway development of around 83,000 km (including Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I is 24,800 km) by FY2022.

8.NHAI reforms lead to steep decline in high-risk highway projects

The proportion of under-construction, high-risk highway projects has reduced significantly from 53 per cent two years back to 21 per cent now after a slew of steps were initiated by NHAI.

9.Cabinet approves funds for Bharatmala projects

The Cabinet has approved the investment proposal for the Bharatmala programme for development and upgradation of 34,800 km of National Highways.

10.'We have been actively involved in nation-building programmes,' says MD, IL&FS Transportation Networks

Over the years, this powerhouse has emerged as a leading surface transportation infrastructure company and is widely recognised as the pioneer of public partnership in India's surface transportation sector.