From the Kailash Mansarovar route to the Zojila tunnel to the Lipulekh Pass, massive construction work is underway in the country’s road and highway sectors, or has begun or has been completed during the Coronavirus-2020 devastated by the pandemic.
According to EU Minister Nitin Gadkari, the driving force behind the expansion of the roads and numerous infrastructure development projects, the government has decided to turn the crisis caused by the pandemic into an opportunity.
The total length of the national highways is currently around 1.34,400 kilometers. The aim is to add another 60,000 kilometers in five years.
When the Globe battled COVID-19, “we decided to turn this (crisis) into an opportunity and massive work could be done in difficult terrain, including tunnels under the town of Chamba, works on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route, and other strategic ones Motorways, “said Gadkari.
In 2020, the government started work on the strategic 14.15-kilometer Zojila Tunnel to ensure a year-round connection between the Srinagar Valley and Leh. The remodeling of the project, which has been underway for some time, is expected to result in savings of around 5,000 rupees.
During the pandemic, the Border Roads Organization (BRO) completed a significant portion of the road connection works from Dharchula to Lipulekh, popularly known as the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra Route. The strategically important route connects the Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula at an altitude of 17,000 feet along the border with China in Uttarakhand.
“In the Jammu and Kashmir region alone, seven tunnel roads are under construction, including the construction of the 8,450-meter-long twin-tube tunnel between Qazigund and Banihal, which will be completed by March next. Work on 2,968-meter-long 6-single roads Die The tunnel road between Ramban and Banihal is scheduled to be completed in December 2021, “said Gadkari.
“We have completed around 85 percent of the work on the Kailash Mansarovar route, and the remaining work is expected to be completed by April 2021,” said the Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs.
According to him, various programs have set a target for the development of 60,000 kilometers of national road over the next five years.
Work is in full swing, including the Rs 1 lakh crore-Delhi-Mumbai express corridor, which the government expects to complete over the next two years.
Gadkari also noted that around 50 percent of the work on the corridor has been completed.
There are also 22 new express highways on the anvil, including the Chennai-Bangalore expressway, which will help reduce overall logistics costs.
With India’s pledge to cut CO2 emissions by 30 to 35 percent by 2030 and efforts to cut Rs 8 billion worth of crude oil imports, the focus is also on green fuel and electricity, and electric vehicles.
“India has an electricity surplus. The advantages of electromobility solutions are immense … The center is aiming for a sales penetration of 30 percent for private vehicles, 70 percent for commercial vehicles and 40 percent for buses. And 80 percent for two- and three-wheelers by 2030 through provision various incentives that are likely to drive the growth of the EV market in India, “said Gadkari.
The government plans to set up at least one e-charging kiosk on each of the roughly 69,000 gasoline pumps across the country to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
Gadkari said India has the potential to become the world’s largest EV manufacturer in the next five years. “Now is the time to pursue the ambition to become number one. The raw material is available, electricity tariffs are falling.” … It’s a win-win situation “.
In addition to electricity, ethanol can be another powerful fuel, the minister said, claiming that it could easily be brought from a rupee 22,000 and ethanol economy to rupee 2, which would create 25 billion job opportunities.
Mixing with gasoline requires at least 1,600 crore liters of ethanol, as 10 percent can now be mixed, but the procurement is only 450 liters.
“We are planning to allow a mixture of up to 22 percent, and this will only require 3,500 liters of ethanol for gasoline, while an additional large demand will be required for diesel, since in the coming days there will be flex engines for automobiles based on the Industrial nations will enter, “said the minister.
Speaking in connection with the Department of Transportation that recently issued the Cab Aggregator Guidelines, Gadkari said, “We are determined to formalize this industry to create a professional workforce of drivers and operators trained with all best practices and with the required skills are equipped to provide end-to-end connectivity “.
In road transport, the asset monetization program was accelerated in 2020 as part of the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) model, which was revised and resulted in realistic pricing of an asset.
Infrastructure debt was thereby able to participate in direct funding of the monetized asset and smaller projects were made available to help investors. Investment trusts and special purpose vehicles have also been introduced to finance highways.
In order to accelerate the technical and financial qualification for the construction of highways, the eligibility has been relaxed in order to allow a broader participation of the building owners in the models HAM (Hybrid Annuity Model), EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) and BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer).
Working capital requirements have been tightened through debt rescheduling and fast payment cycles, which released more than Rs 8,000 worth of payments during the lock-up period.
Among other things, performance security requirements have been removed to simplify cash flow in this sector and funds worth 4,000 rupees have been released, while existing PPP contractors in HAM or BOT or TOT have been compensated for losses.
“The goal is to build highways worth Rs.15 billion over the three to four years. During my previous tenure, I secured Rs.17 billion worth of work in my combined ministries,” said Gadkari.
A special vehicle – the National Highways Logistics Management Company – with NHAI member Manoj Kumar as chairman, was set up for 35 logistics parks as part of the Bharatmala Initiative.
The increased focus on electronic toll collection by FASTags has resulted in an increase in toll collections, which are expected to reach 33,000 rupees by March and rise to £ 1 by 2025.