New Delhi: The Road Transport and Highways sector is yet to achieve its target of building 20 km of roads a day due to delays in land acquisition and green hurdles besides poor performance of contractors, the Economic Survey 2011-12 said on Thursday.
"Several initiatives have been taken for resolving these issues and it is expected that during the 12th Plan (2012-17) road construction work will pick up," the survey said projecting the investment requirement during the period at a massive Rs 6,11,344 crore.
It said, "the targets for the road transport sector during the 12th Plan are indeed massive," and there is a need to upgrade the National Highways to two lane, build expressways in high and dense traffic segments. It also said that there is an urgent need to improve the riding quality of the road network in general.
The UPA government in 2009 has unveiled its ambitious target of building 35,000 km of roads in five years, which translates into building 20 km of roads in day. The target, however, is yet to be achieved despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over it.
The survey said that as against the estimated public and private-sector investment of about Rs 1,52,201 crore during the 11th Plan (2007-12), the total investment requirement during the 12th Plan in the central sector for roads would be about Rs 6,11,344 crore.
"The share of the private sector is projected to be about 38 percent," the survey added.
The Economic Survey also lamented that the sector accounted for the maximum number of 90 delayed projects out of 235 central schemes, each costing Rs 150 crore or above.
"The flash report for the month of October 2011 tracks the progress of 583 projects in different sectors. Out of these...235 are delayed... Maximum number of projects delayed relate to road transport and highways (90)," the survey said.
The progress of the projects were assessed by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).
The original cost of the 583 projects when sanctioned was Rs 7,12,812 crore but this was subsequently revised to Rs 8,21,665 crore, implying a cost overrun of 15.3 percent.
"Thirteen projects in road transport are expected to have cost overruns of...61 percent," the survey said.
In the majority of cases, the delays are mainly due to a dismal record of project implementation starting from project identification and designing to undue delays in procurement (both tendering and contracting) and ineffective project monitoring, it said.
About Highway's Ministry's flagship road building programme NHDP, the survey pointed out that in 2011-12, the achievement under various phases of the NHDP up to December, 2011, has been about 1,250 km and projects have been awarded for a total length of about 4,374.9 km.