“Building 20 km (of roads) a day target is not sustainable. There is no point in rushing up with projects where we do not have environment clearance and land acquisition. We must deal with these projects in a way the private equity gets interested,”
According to him, equity was a major concern for awarding road projects of 10,000 kms a year, including 7,000 km of national highways. It requires Rs90,000 crore investment, of which one-third (Rs30,000 crore) should be private equity. However, he has doubts to raise that Rs30,000 cr equity.
“Can we really raise Rs30,000 crore equity,” he wondered while stressing the need for making road projects lucrative. Achieving up to 60% of the target would be meaningful if the government manages to maintain current rate, he added.
The UPA government in 2009 has unveiled its ambitious target of building 35,000 km of highways in five years, which translates into constructing 20 km of roads in a day. However this fiscal the NHAI has barely managed to award about 1,000 km of contracts as against a target of 9,500 km fixed by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
EPC News Bureau