NHAI confident to build 5,000 km highway this fiscal, claims chairperson
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is confident to build a 5,000 km highway in this financial year, claims its chairperson Alka Upadhyaya. She also reportedly said that the agency is confident about awarding a 6,500 km highway contract this fiscal, claims PTI. This report comes at a time when the rating agency Crisil forecasted that the NHAI would slow down awarding highway contracts to 5,000 km in this fiscal and the next as well. The rating agency claimed that the highway contract awarding may see a slump after a sequential rise from merely 2,222 km in FY19 to 6,306 km in FY22.
In the last fiscal, the completed highway projects were 4,325 km at a capital expenditure of ₹168,770 crore, which was an all-time high. While making the forecast, Crisil also said that with a limited rise in budget, coupled with higher Capex, for 70 per cent of high-value expressways currently under construction, NHAI may defer its contract awarding under Bharatmala Phase One beyond FY24.
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Speaking about that, the NHAI chairperson said that the agency would be able to award contracts for 30,000-31,000 km by 2025. She also said that so far 576 projects of the length of 20,368 km had already been awarded under the program.
Bharatmala Pariyojana is the largest highway infrastructure programme in India that aims the development of 34,800 km of national highway corridors at an investment of ₹5.35 lakh crore.