Highway building hits a record

A little more than two years after assuming office, the NDA government is on course to set a new record of highway development in a month with the road transport and highways ministry estimating that construction will touch 27-28 km a day in June.
The pace of highway construction in June is likely to be two-and-half times more than what the UPA had achieved when it went out of power. During UPA-II, the average rate of highway construction was about 10-11 km.Though highways minister Nitin Gadkari had set a target of constructing 30 km a day by May-end, the target achieved was around 17 km. The ministry had recorded the highest-ever construction of highways, at 6,029 km, during the last financial year.
Sources said highway construction has accelerated because of a series of measures to revive held up projects and as well as regular monitoring of ongoing works by the road transport secretary and NHAI chairman.“Hundreds of projects have been reviewed individually in the past three months. Regular monitoring will push construction.At present work is on or is going to start on about 40,000 km.Works awarded in the past two years will begin showing results,“ said the official.
The pace of construction is higher during April, May and June ­ considered as favourable months for civil construction ­ahead of the monsoon. The current trend points to an increase in the pace of construction this year. Typically , construction again picks up post rains.
The rate of construction has been boosted as several ongoing projects involve widening of roads from seven metres (two-lane) to 10 metres (two-lanes with shoulder). Most of these projects are government funded.Highway widening besides new roads is also part of construction work and this has been a feature even in the past.
Unlike in the West where highways are greenfield projects, in India district and state roads have been upgraded to National Highways and this involves widening of existing stretches.

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