With the remaining portion of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) getting subsumed into the new road-development programme (83,000 km including Bharatmala Phase-I) and a significant portion of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) set to be concluded by 2019, the government intends to deploy the central road fund (CRF) in other infrastructure sub-sectors.
Odisha government has directed its Works Department to prioritise the State Highway Development Programme (SHDP) to push up infrastructural development in the state. The State Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra has asked Department to give priority to road projects in LWE districts in the state.
To prepare a detailed web-based geographic information system (GIS) mapping of around 4,500 km of highways in West Bengal by March 2014, the State Highway Development Corporation (WBHDC) has involved IIT-Kharagpur, National Informatics Centre (NIC) and Rites.
In West Bengal, financial bids from the short-listed infrastructure companies have been called by the West Bengal Highway Development Corporation (WBHDC) for four-laning of the Dankuni-Chandannagar section of State Highway-13. Infrastructure majors such as Gammon India, HCC, IVRCL and Nagarjuna Construction are in the fray to participate in the project, sources said.
The Government of India has taken several initiatives to expedite highway projects under the National Highway Development Project (NHDP). The initiatives are: NHAI Board has approved formation of a High Level Expert Settlement Advisory Committee for one time settlement of old cases pending in court.
The National Highway Authority of India prescribed norms were the main constraint for highway development, said VK Ebrahim Kunju, Kerala Minister for Public Works. He told this in the State Assembly that the authority had insisted on acquiring equal space on either sides of a stretch to suit road geometrics.
The Kerala government is not willing to develop five National Highways (NH) in the state that are included in the National Highway Development Project (NHDP) Phase IVA and imposing toll on them. The State has informed the same to the Union government.
In the fourth phase of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry has sought permission to clear projects costing up to Rs 500 crore in an attempt to expedite investments. At present, all road projects are cleared by inter-ministerial committees, which the Ministry says causes delay.
While roads and highway development now forms the crux of India’s ongoing thrust on overall infrastructure development, MICHAEL KEDEM, Director, i-Tec India, believes the real challenge is to create new, faster, greener and cleaner ways to do it.