MoRTH to fast track awards and construction of roads

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has emphasised fast-tracking the award and construction of national highways projects. During 2016-17, projects spanning around 16,271 km of national highways were awarded and 8,231 km constructed. To increase the pace of awards and construction, the MoRTH has further announced an award for the best performing project director and regional officer. Further, the MoRTH has set a high target of 6,000 km for construction and 10,000 km for award for NHAI to implement in the current financial year. Meanwhile, the Mumbai-Vadodara, Bangalore-Chennai and Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressways are expected to be sanctioned by June 2017. Tenders for 33 wayside amenities will also be floated by June 2017. Electronic toll collection will be made available on all lanes at all toll plazas by March 31, 2018. Regarding the land acquisition issue, the MoRTH has called for positive cooperation with the concerned state governments to tackle the problem. Expeditious resolution of issues such as forest clearances, appointment of independent engineers, change of scope, etc. has also been called for.