New Delhi: The government on Tuesday approved 16 national highway projects worth Rs.7,456 crore.
The projects involve rehabilitation, upgradation and widening of highways in the states of Maharashtra, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Sikkim.
The four-laning of the Kalmath-Zarap section in Maharashtra received the highest funding of Rs.1,338.13 crore. The construction cost of all the projects combined is Rs.4,174.79 crore.
Out of the 16 projects, 13 will be built in engineering procurement construction (EPC) mode, one in build operate transfer (BOT) mode and two in the new hybrid annuity mode.
The hybrid annuity model, introduced last year to speed up construction, figures in only two of the projects due to factors concerning location, traffic and feasibility of the projects, said Sanjay Mitra, secretary in the ministry of road transport and highways.
Two of the projects are part of the ministry’s ambitious Char Dham project which aims to connect the four shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in the state of Uttrakhand.
Vikash Kumar Sharda, director-infrastructure, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said, “Along with various measures taken by the government to help revive the infrastructure sector, these connectivity projects like the Bharat Mala project and the Char Dham project will definitely help the sector more as the ministry is doing a good job of getting these projects into operation.”
Projects will be bid out only where 90% of the land is acquired so that the problem of land acquisition does not surface.