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infrastructure | IST

Exclusive: Completed 5600 km of roads so far this year; target around 12,000, says Roads Secretary

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Out of a targeted 12,000 kilometres of road construction, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has completed 5,600 km so far this year despite heavy rains in several southern states, said Union Roads Secretary Giridhar Aramane on Friday.

Out of a targeted 12,000 kilometres of road construction, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has completed 5,600 kms so far this year despite heavy rains in several southern states, said Union Roads Secretary Giridhar Aramane on Friday. Aramane also expressed hope that the full target will be achieved by the end of the financial year.
"This year, we have targeted around 12,000 kms. So far, we have already completed the 5,600 kms award and the remaining is also in good shape. We hope to complete the entire target by the end of the financial year," Aramane told CNBC-TV18.
On the current pace of road construction against average during pre-COVID years, the Government of India (GoI) official said the 2018 and 2019 years were not good. He said while our targets are increased and we are now constructing 6-lane and 8-lane highways. The construction by lane-km is close to 1.5 times compared to the historical average.
"2018 and 2019 were not as good as the current financial year. Our target has increased and the type of roads we are constructing now is totally different from what we were constructing earlier. Now we are constructing mostly eight-lane, expressways and access control roads and the six-lane roads in many of the regions and states compared to, mainly, four-lane and two-lane we were constructing in 2019 and 2018. So this year construction is much higher when we look at the lane kms, it will be almost 1.5-1.8 times, of those years,” Aramane said.
On Bharatmala, he said, "So, far, we have already completed construction for 6,600 kms. By yearend, we will be completing another 1,100-1,200 kms. So, we will be touching anywhere 7,800-8,000 kms of Bharatmala by the year-end in construction terms. In terms of the award, we have already completed 19,500 and by year-end, we will be doing at least 21,600 kms out of the total 34,000 kms we plan to do in the five year period."
Speaking about ToT projects and monetisation, Aramane said, "We have already got around Rs 2,200 crore through Toll Operate Transfer (ToT) bundles and we also raised around Rs 8,000 crore through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) this year and we have two more bundles of ToT ready for the bidding process.”
Further elaborating on the ongoing projects, the GoI official said, “Apart from this, we are also securitizing some of the greenfield expressways – Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, the Raipur-Vizag Expressway and Delhi-Amritsar-Katra are 3 SPVs of the expressways are going to monetise the future toll revenues to securitisation and raise money for their construction and payback that money through the toll revenues received during the operational phase. So this target is quite possible, we may be able to achieve the target given by the finance ministry to us."
Talking about private sector investments, the Roads Secretary said, " We have and the bigger t because now our main mode of tendering has become the PPP, ham, there is good response bankers and other lenders are quite enthusiastic because the model concession agreements have been made very business-friendly. I don't think any problem in getting 30,000 private sector investment through equity and their investment.”
For the entire interview, watch the video