Despite challenges due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded highest length of projects during FY 2020-21 till date as compared to the projects awarded during same period in last three years. As per NHAI during April to August 2020, NHAI has awarded 26 projects of 744 km length as compared to 676 km in FY 2019-20, 368 km in FY-2018-19 and 504 km in FY 2017-18. Capital cost of these 26 projects is over Rs 31,000 crore, which includes cost of civil construction, land acquisition, and other pre- construction activities.
NHAI has set a target of awarding 4500 km of highway during current FY and is likely to exceed the same.
Despite lockdown and prevailing situation, NHAI took various initiatives to instill confidence in the bidders of the sector. To ease the liquidity crunch and ensure cash flow to the contractors, NHAI ensured that no payments are delayed due to closure of office and disbursed Rs. 10,000 crore during lockdown in March 2020 using digital platforms. In the first Qr. of current FY, NHAI disbursed more than Rs. 15,000 crore to the vendors. Additionally, steps such as monthly payments to the contractors were taken. Such moderations saw an encouraged participation from the bidders resulting in spiraling effect on the growth of the road sector.
With the increase in awards and expanding highway construction, NHAI has got a good beginning for a year marred by the global outbreak of the pandemic. NHAI is committed to develop the National Highways Infrastructure at a rapid pace and envisions providing safe, smooth, and seamless travel experience on National Highways.