New Delhi: The face of the poorly maintained national highways in the country is expected to change for the better as five dozen projects have been flagged off recently. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated the process of assigning the task to various agencies to build 7,994 kilometres of roads with an investment of Rs 64,488 crores.

The plan includes 29 projects to construct 4,113 km of roads under National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) Phase-4 at an expenditure of Rs 29,283 crores; 17 projects to build 2299 km of roads under NHDP Phase-5 at cost of Rs 20,876 crores and 12 projects under NHDP Phase-3 to build 1393 km of roads at a cost of Rs 10,948 crores.

It also includes a project under NHDP Phase-2 for 135 km long road at cost of Rs 2699 crores and a project of Eastern Expressway worth Rs 2699 crores.

The Ministry of Road Transport has assigned NHAI the task of building 7300 kms length of roads at 20 km per day, according to which the Authority has already given a four month contract to build 3000 kms of roads.

According to a NHAI official, the authority had sought permission to increase the goal up to 9000 km, but the Planning Commission put down the idea owing to past records of projects and scarcity of funds.

The government has also included under NHDP, upgradation of 6500 kms of roads to six lanes, 24,700 km of roads to four lanes, convert 20,000 km of roads into national highways and construction of 1000 km expressway roads.

Under this programme, the task of building 15000 km of roads has already been accomplished while work is in progress to build 10,000 km of roads.

The government is also preparing to construct 25,000 km of new roads over the next three years through PPP (public private partnership) and EPC (engineering procurement and construction) models.

(JPN/Bureau)