New Delhi: The government till now has failed to construct 20 Km roads per day or 7,300 km of roads in the year. Ironically, a target of constructing 9,000 km of roads has been set for the next year. In the current financial year which is on the verge of completion the government has managed to construct only 4,382 km of roads at a cost of Rs 39,152 crore.


Though the government faced difficulties in awarding tenders last year, target for road construction has been raised by 1,700 km.  This is because new methods like the Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) medium, allows the government to construct roads at low cost.

Responsibility of expenditure on construction of national highways has been given to private developers. Private developers cover up their investments by toll tax collections. Road transport and highways Minister Dr C P Joshi has confirmed that there is no shortage of funds for road construction.

National highway authority of India (NHAI) has recently floated tax-free bonds which have been over subscribed. NHAI has raised Rs 25,000 crore through the tax-free bonds. With no shortage of funds, Ministry is planning to spend Rs 3,23,77 crore on road constructions in next five years.

Joshi is very optimistic about their plans. This is the reason that the ministry is planning to convert 20,000 km single lane national highway into two-lane. The Ministry has already embarked on completing road projects with the investment of 70,000 crore in next five years.

According to planning commission, with increased road connectivity in forest areas of Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Maharshtra naxalite problem can be sorted out.
Keeping this in mind, road ministry has sent a proposal to planning commission for completing 4,426 km road construction by 2015 in naxalite affected areas. Since private developers are not taking interest in construction of roads in these areas, the government has planned to build the road on its own.

To improve road connectivity to the border areas, Rs 3,000 crore plan is being prepared for the purpose. The Border Roads Organisations (BRO) will be entrusted with the responsibility.

 
(JPN/Bureau)