Uptick in Activity: Overview of road development across states

Overview of road development across states

During the year 2017-18, notable progress has been made with regard to road development at the state level. State governments have been proactive in initiating measures to expedite road projects. The majority of the states have laid emphasis on the decongestion of city roads. Further, states are gradually warming up to the adoption of innovative public-private partnership models. Maintenance-related activity has also been gaining momentum with many states giving requisite attention to efficient operations and maintenance. The past year also saw the revival as well as launch of several big-ticket projects.

Indian Infrastructure provides an overview of the road development progress across different states…

Maharashtra kicks off noteworthy projects

During the previous year, the state made significant progress with regard to its noteworthy projects. One of the major developments was the award of contracts for 13 of the total 16 packages of the 701 km Nagpur-Mumbai expressway. The bid process for the remaining three packages is still under way. The project, being implemented by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), has already achieved financial closure with a consortium of 11 banks led by the State Bank of India and the Life Insurance Corporation agreeing to lend

Rs 280 billion for Phase I of the project. In addition, MSRDC has already taken a loan of Rs 50 billion from five state agencies at an interest rate of 8 to 9.5 per cent to fund the project.

The year also saw the commencement of construction of the country’s longest sea link, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, for which 80 per cent funding is being provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It is expected to be completed by 2022. Another major project for which construction work is expected to commence soon is the 128 km Pune ring road, being undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 238.28 billion.

Recently, the Maharashtra cabinet approved three road projects for the state. These are the Bandra-Versova sea link, the Mumbai-Pune new lane expressway and a third bridge on Thane creek at Vashi. The 10 km Bandra-Versova sea link will be developed by Reliance Infrastructure Limited and Italy’s Astaldi while the six-lane Vashi bridge will be constructed by Larsen & Toubro. Further, the Mumbai-Pune new lane expressway will be developed by Navayuga Engineering and Afcons Infrastructure. In addition, the Standing Committee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also approved the Rs 120 billion Mumbai coastal road project. BMC has already finalised contractors for all three phases of the 9.98 km road, extending from Marine Lines to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli sea link. Some of the key projects which were launched during the year include the Navi-Mumbai Kalyan road and an eight-lane bridge at Kopri.

For the year 2018-19, the Maharashtra government has allocated Rs 108.28 billion for road development in the state. In addition, it has set a target of completing 7,000 km of roads under the Mukhyamantri Gramin Marga Yojana, at an estimated cost of Rs 25.58 billion.

Delhi steps up focus on decongestion plans

Grappling with traffic congestion issues, the Delhi government has embarked upon the construction of a network of roads, flyovers and underpasses. The year saw the inauguration of the much-awaited Phase II of the Barapullah elevated road, spanning 2 km. Phase III of the project, spanning 3.5 km, is expected to be completed by December 2020 at a cost of

Rs 16.64 billion. Further, the state government granted approval for the construction of a 13 km elevated road between Signature Bridge and the Kalindi Kunj bypass, in an attempt to decongest Ring Road and Outer Ring Road. The elevated corridor will be connected to all the eight bridges over the Yamuna river. The government also has plans to commence construction of the elevated road from Kakrola More to Wazirabad during 2018-19.

Till date, a total of 83 flyovers and road overbridges/underbridges have been constructed in the state. One of the important flyover projects under implementation is the much-delayed 2.7 km Rao Tula Ram flyover, which has achieved a physical progress of 55 per cent. Going forward, the state government plans to commence construction of flyovers at Karawal Nagar, Bhajanpura Junction, Gagan Cinema and Nand Nagri T-junction, in addition to a 6.5 km underpass at Loni Road on Mangal Pandey Marg during 2018-19. The construction of the Kalindi bypass between the Delhi-Noida-Delhi flyover and Faridabad along the Yamuna and Agra Canal is also expected to start in 2018-19. Further, the country’s first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge, the 675 metre Signature Bridge is nearing completion. In addition, the construction of a tunnel below the India Trade Promotion Organisation from Bhairon Road-Ring Road Junction to Purana Qila road with length of 700 metres is in progress and is expected to be completed by August 2019.

Under the state’s budget for 2018-19, the government has allocated Rs 51.45 billion for public transport including road infrastructure. Further, the government has earmarked Rs 10 billion for improving dilapidated roads and lanes in the city.

Expressway development on the rise in Uttar Pradesh

During 2017-18, the state continued to focus on the development of expressways. The state government finally awarded contracts for the 354 km Purvanchal Expressway after two failed attempts. The government also approved the proposal to secure a Rs 120 billion loan from the Punjab National Bank for the construction of the expressway. The Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority finalised the alignment of another three expressways in the state – the Bundelkhand Expressway, Prayag Expressway and Gorakhpur Link Expressway. In addition, the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has also decided to widen the six-lane Yamuna Expressway to eight lanes on account of the anticipated surge in traffic once the Jewar international airport becomes operational.

The state government has paid significant attention to the construction of bridges and ring roads in the state. Currently, around 115 bridge projects entailing an investment of about Rs 35 billion are in progress. Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the construction of a six-lane, 9.9 km bridge over the Ganga river in Allahabad, which is expected to be completed within three years from the commencement of construction. Some of the key upcoming ring roads include the Kanpur outer ring road, the Lucknow outer ring road, the Rae Bareli ring road, the Agra inner ring road and the Basti ring road.

In May 2018, the Uttar Pradesh government also took up the proposal for funding the $570 million Uttar Pradesh Core Road Development Project with the World Bank. Under this project, the state public works department has identified 24,095 km of core road network for development. However, the proposal is yet to be approved by the World Bank.

Under the 2018-19 state budget, the government has allocated about Rs 176 billion for development of good quality roads and the enhancement of connectivity in the state. In addition, a sum of Rs 6.5 billion has been allocated for the Bundelkhand Expressway, Rs 5.5 billion for the Gorakhpur Link Expressway, Rs 10 billion for the Purvanchal Expressway and Rs 5 billion for the Agra-Lucknow Expressway.

Karnataka lays increased emphasis on decongestion of Bengaluru

During 2017-18, the Karnataka government reiterated its commitment towards decongesting Bengaluru by reviving plans for the construction of six interconnected elevated corridors in the city. Together, these will span a total of 95 km and will be constructed over the next four years at a cost of Rs 158.25 billion. Further, the Bangalore Development Authority has proposed the implementation of the Bengaluru Peripheral Ring Road, which was conceived in 2005, by converting it into an elevated corridor to reduce the land acquisition cost.

As of May 2018, around 117 km of road construction works are being carried out by Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) at an estimated cost of Rs 3.94 billion. One of the major projects in progress is the 100.8 km Jath-Jamboti road in Hubballi, entailing an investment of Rs 3.22 billion. Further, the government has also placed increased emphasis on the development of bridges in the state. As of May 2018, bridge works worth Rs 1.56 billion are being carried out by KRDCL. Some of the noteworthy bridge projects being undertaken include the Kapila river bridge in Mysuru, a bridge on

the Sagar-Pattaguppa road in Shimoga and the Krishna river bridge in Belgaum. KRDCL has also proposed the development of the 190 km Kolar Gold Fields-Bagepalli road and the 34.58 km Hoskote-Tamil Nadu border road on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.

In September 2018, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $346 million loan to finance the improvement of over 400 km of state highways across 12 districts in Karnataka, as part of the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project III. Meanwhile, an ongoing road project for the upgradation of 615 km of state roads is already being financed by ADB through a loan of $315 million.

For 2018-19, the Karnataka government has allocated Rs 68.92 billion for road development in the state. Further, around 2,722 km of state highways will be developed under the Karnataka State Highways Development Project IV at an estimated cost of Rs 34.8 billion. It also plans to complete the construction of five roads spanning a total of 300 km, through World Bank assistance. Further, an amount of Rs 10 billion has been budgeted in 2018-19 for the Bengaluru interconnected elevated corridor project.

Tamil Nadu reiterates its focus on road widening and improvement

During 2017-18, the state government made significant progress under the Programme for Upgradation of Rural Roads, by taking up 1,435.96 km of panchayat roads. Further, the second phase of the Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project (TNRSP) has been taken up with loan assistance from the World Bank at a cost of Rs 51.71 billion and works are currently in progress. In 2017-18, the government had taken up strengthening and widening of the 45 km stretch on the Tirunelveli-Senkottai Kollam road at a cost of Rs 4.13 billion and four-laning of the 71 km Oddanchathiram-Dharapuram-Avinashi stretch at a cost of Rs 7.12 billion in the PPP mode. An amount of Rs 4.83 billion has been allocated for the TNRSP in this budget.

Recently, the central government and the Tamil Nadu government finalised the proposal to obtain a Rs 32.16 billion loan from JICA for the implementation of the Rs 123.01 billion Chennai Peripheral Ring Road project. An amount of Rs 2 billion has been allocated for this project in the budget.

The government has already brought the upgradation and maintenance of roads in Pollachi, Krishnagiri, Ramanathapuram, Tiruvallur and Virudhunagar divisions under the performance-based maintenance contract (PBMC) system. In 2018-19, it was decided to extend the PBMC system to the Palani division.

The Tamil Nadu government has set certain targets for road development under its budget for 2018-19. It plans to undertake widening of 54 km of state highways and 34 km of major district roads to two lanes during the current financial year. Under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development Programme (CRIDP), the widening of 1,000 km of roads and improvement of 4,000 km of roads will be taken up in 2018-19. Considering the need for improving the quality of roads by taking up renewal works at regular intervals, the allocation under the CRIDP has been substantially enhanced to

Rs 38 billion. Further, an amount of Rs 5.44 billion has been allocated for the regular maintenance of roads during the current financial year.

Telangana adopts new modes of implementation

Taking a cue from the positive response to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ asset monetisation programme, Telangana became the first state to initiate road asset monetisation through the toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model. It has decided to award the 158 km Nehru Outer Ring Road to a private concessionaire for maintenance on a TOT basis. A consortium of LEA Associates South Asia Private Limited and Crisil Risk and Infrastructure Solutions Limited has been appointed as the transaction advisor.

The state government is also planning to construct a 338 km Regional Ring Road around the existing Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad. In May 2018, the MoRTH sanctioned Rs 55 billion for the implementation of the project. Further, the government will undertake the Model Corridor Development project, under which over 40 major roads in Hyderabad will be redesigned or remodelled. These 40 roads were earlier under the control of the National Highways Authority of India, the State Roads and Buildings Department and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation but were handed over to Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Limited. They cover a total length of about of 300 km and the length of each road ranges between 1 km and 27 km.

The Telangana government has also approved the construction of a Rs 4.26 billion steel elevated corridor between Lower Tankbund and VST junction and a Rs 5.23 billion four-lane elevated corridor from the Nalgonda crossroads to Owaisi Junction in Hyderabad. Further, administrative sanction has also been accorded for two flyover projects – the Rs 1.75 billion Attapur Junction-Mehdipatnam stretch flyover and the Rs 3.3 billion six-lane flyover towards Outer Ring Road in Kondapur. These flyover and elevated road projects are being implemented under the Greater Hyderabad Strategic Road Development Plan.

The state has also achieved substantial progress in the development and expansion of roads, both under the purview of the State Roads and Buildings (R&B) Department as well as the Panchyati Raj Department. Around 24,950 km of roads under the R&B Department jurisdiction and 69,500 km roads in the Panchayat Raj Department jurisdiction are being developed. Further, the government has taken a policy decision to connect all mandals and district headquarters with double-lane roads. For this purpose, 1,875 km of roads are being widened. The construction of 511 bridges in the R&B jurisdiction is also being taken up.

Summing up

During the previous year, most of the state governments have reiterated their focus on decongesting the city roads which is evident from the lucrative line-up of elevated roads, flyovers and ring roads in these states. At the state level, significant headway has been made with regard to land acquisition issues. While land pooling has emerged as a dominant means, another model involving a mutually agreeable approach, adopted for the Agra-Lucknow Expressway, has emerged successful and is now being replicated across various projects in the country. The huge pipeline of projects on offer across different states provides immense opportunities for all stakeholders – developers, contractors, operators, and equipment and material providers. However, to ensure successful implementation of projects, a more effective dispute resolution mechanism, time-bound funding and proper project development and preparation needs to be ensured.