Meeting road target on time could be a stretch for govt
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Despite the Centre's desperate push to boost the infrastructure sector, the target to award 9,500-km of roads during the current financial year seems to be beyond reach.
According to a senior national highways authority of India official, the target is too ambitious in the given time and considering the poor investor sentiment, it will not be achievable.
At the economic editors conference, roads minister CP Joshi said that only 600-km of projects have been awarded so far.
The government needs to award another 8,900 km in six months of the fiscal to meet the target. "Since the target is high, the ministry is taking other routes in mind such as engineering, procurement and construction for which the target has been increased to 4,000 km out of which 2,900km will come under NHAI and that will be awarded," an NHAI official added.
The minister in his address also admitted that "these initiatives have helped but looking at the recent global economic conditions there have been few challenges in project financing, land acquisition, arbitration claims, merger and transfers of projects," Joshi said.
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister's Office had asked the road and transport ministry for a work plan to achieve the national highways target promised by the PM. "The targets have been made public by the PM... Therefore no stone should be left unturned in catching up in the time left. The ministry should have a work plan that details the stretches," Pulok Chatterji, Principal Secretary to the PM had written.
R10,000-cr plan for Red-hit areas
The Cabinet is all set to consider a R10,000-crore of investment plan to improve connectivity in identified backward areas that are affected by Left Wing Extremism. A decision is expected to be taken in a Cabinet meeting scheduled on Wednesday.
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