MoRTH to appoint non-technical consultant for the first time
ROADS & HIGHWAYS

MoRTH to appoint non-technical consultant for the first time

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is set to appoint a non-technical consultant to address land acquisition issues and speed up highway construction, according to a report by the source. The consultant, preferably a retired government official with a rank of sub-divisional magistrate or higher, will bring extensive knowledge and experience in land revenue and acquisition. This initiative aims to streamline the awarding and construction processes for highways, which are often delayed due to land acquisition complexities and poor communication between acquirers and landowners.

Land availability has been a significant hindrance to infrastructure projects, often slowed by prolonged processes and delayed notifications. The new consultant will advise on policy matters, land acquisition, public grievances, and legal cases, as well as monitor projects, coordinate land acquisition activities, manage the Bhoomi Rashi platform, and perform additional tasks as directed by the ministry.

The Bhoomi Rashi platform facilitates online processing of land acquisition notifications, speeding up highway projects across India. The appointment comes at a critical time, as highway construction has fallen short of annual targets for the past three years. In the current fiscal year, construction rates have significantly declined.

Data from MoRTH shows that highway construction decreased by 12% to 1,288 km in the first two months of this fiscal year, compared to 1,465 km in the same period in 2023. Additionally, the number of projects awarded dropped sharply from 382 km to just 4 km. An anonymous official from a leading global audit and consultancy firm attributed these delays and cost overruns to land acquisition hurdles. The central government is targeting 12,000-13,000 km of highway construction for FY25, down from the previous year's target of 13,814 km and the actual construction of 12,349 km. The consultant's initial engagement will be for two years, with potential extensions based on ministry needs, performance, and health. The consultant will be based in the ministry's New Delhi office, with an age limit of 63 years. Current regulations stipulate that MoRTH aims to acquire 90% of the land before awarding highway projects, ensuring encumbrance-free projects for concessionaires. Minor acquisitions can be managed during various construction stages without disrupting project progress.

(Source: BS & Mint)

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is set to appoint a non-technical consultant to address land acquisition issues and speed up highway construction, according to a report by the source. The consultant, preferably a retired government official with a rank of sub-divisional magistrate or higher, will bring extensive knowledge and experience in land revenue and acquisition. This initiative aims to streamline the awarding and construction processes for highways, which are often delayed due to land acquisition complexities and poor communication between acquirers and landowners. Land availability has been a significant hindrance to infrastructure projects, often slowed by prolonged processes and delayed notifications. The new consultant will advise on policy matters, land acquisition, public grievances, and legal cases, as well as monitor projects, coordinate land acquisition activities, manage the Bhoomi Rashi platform, and perform additional tasks as directed by the ministry. The Bhoomi Rashi platform facilitates online processing of land acquisition notifications, speeding up highway projects across India. The appointment comes at a critical time, as highway construction has fallen short of annual targets for the past three years. In the current fiscal year, construction rates have significantly declined. Data from MoRTH shows that highway construction decreased by 12% to 1,288 km in the first two months of this fiscal year, compared to 1,465 km in the same period in 2023. Additionally, the number of projects awarded dropped sharply from 382 km to just 4 km. An anonymous official from a leading global audit and consultancy firm attributed these delays and cost overruns to land acquisition hurdles. The central government is targeting 12,000-13,000 km of highway construction for FY25, down from the previous year's target of 13,814 km and the actual construction of 12,349 km. The consultant's initial engagement will be for two years, with potential extensions based on ministry needs, performance, and health. The consultant will be based in the ministry's New Delhi office, with an age limit of 63 years. Current regulations stipulate that MoRTH aims to acquire 90% of the land before awarding highway projects, ensuring encumbrance-free projects for concessionaires. Minor acquisitions can be managed during various construction stages without disrupting project progress. (Source: BS & Mint)

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