SIX Laning of delhi-Dehradun National Highway

April 24, 2008

Delhi-Dehradun stretch of NH-58 & 72 has been identified for 4/6-laning under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase III on Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) mode based on the criteria of high density of traffic and connectivity of State capitals with corridors of NHDP Phase I & II .  The present status of this stretch is as under:

  • Delhi-Meerut section of NH-58 is already 4-laned and preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) for 6-laning is in progress.
  • The work of 4-laning of Meerut-Muzaffarnagar section of NH-58 on BOT basis is in progress and targeted for completion by March, 2009.
  • The work of 4-laning of Muzaffarnagar-Haridwar section could not be awarded as only single bid was received and the same was cancelled. For re-bidding of this section, updation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) as per new Model Concession Agreement (MCA) as decided by Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) is in progress. The Haridwar-Dehradun section is passing through Rajaji National Park and clearance is to be obtained from the Central Empowered Committee constituted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. After clearance from Central Empowered Committee and PPPAC, bidding process is to be taken up for award of 4-laning work.  It is too early to indicate the completion time of 4-laning work of Muzaffarnagar-Haridwar-Dehradun section at this stage. However, the same may not be completed by 2010 keeping in view the time taken in obtaining the clearance from Central Empowered Committee & PPPAC as well as response of bidders.

This information was given  by the Minister of   State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa  in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.



April 23, 2008

The status of Chandigarh-Kiratpur, Amritsar-Pathankot and Jalandhar –Amritsar stretches are as under:

(i) Chandigarh-Kiratpur stretch: The Chandigarh-Kurali section is of 28.6 km length. Out of this, the stretch from km 0.0 to km 11.4 is four/six laned. Four laning from km 11.4 to 15.4 has been sanctioned for Rs.13.51 crore on 31.03.2008 by Ministry. Four laning of the remaining section from km 15.4 to 28.6 is to be taken up under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase – III. The 4 – laning of Kurali-Kiratpur section has been awarded in June 2007 on BOT basis and the work is likely to be completed by June 2010.

(ii) Jalandhar-Amritsar stretch : The Detailed Project Report (DPR) to take up the work of four- laning on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) toll basis for Jalandhar-Dhilwan section has been updated by the consultant. The bidding process shall be started after Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) clearance. The four – laning of Dhilwan to Verka Chowk, Amritsar section has been started in May 2006 and the work is targeted to be completed by November 2008.

(iii) Amritsar-Pathankot Stretch : The Detailed Project Report (DPR) preparation for four laning of this stretch is in advance stage of completion. The bidding process shall be started after Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) clearance.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.


National highway projects underway in the north eastern region

April 17, 2008

The Border Roads Organisation, National Highways Authority of India and state public works departments (PWDs) will execute national highway (NH) project works in the north-eastern states as per the lump sum amount allocated by the ministry.

Responding to a query in the Lok Sabha, minister of  state for  shipping, road transport and highways  K H  Muniyappa said, the national highway (NH) project works are underway in the north eastern region (NER) of India against lump sum amount allocated by the ministry. The Border Roads Organisation, National Highways Authority of India and state public works departments (PWDs) will execute the special projects in Sikkim and Tripura fully and in other states partly as per government allocations

The annual plan for the special programmes has not been finalised.

The state public works departments of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland are also engaged to execute NH works in these states on the basis of sanctions accorded by the ministry in successive annual plans.

The plan for the  development of the national highways in the 11th Five-year Plan has yet to be finalised by the government. The amount of works for development of national highways approved by the ministry during 2007-08 (1st year of 11th plan) and the amount of works included in the list of works prepared by the ministry for sanctions during 2008-09 for the six states to be executed by the state PWDs is:

(Rs in crore)

Amount of sanctions accorded during 2007-08

Amount of works listed for sanctions during 2008-09

Arunachal Pradesh 0.00 30.00
Assam 112.12 292.00
Manipu 37.97 99.00
Meghalaya 43.87 264.00
Mizoram 21.95 119.50
Nagaland 47.08 50.50

The expenditure incurred on the development of national highways in north-east region during 10th Plan was  Rs2,383.93 crore. In addition, the expenditure on development of national highways has also been incurred on special accelerated road development programme in north east (SARDP-NE). The expenditure under SARDP-NE during 2006-07 is Rs91.65 crore. The budget of 2008-09 is yet to be passed by the Parliament.

Four-lane Guwahati bypass was completed during the10th Plan. Karimganj,  Nagaon, Daboka, Lanka, Lumding, Maibang, Udharband, Mahour, Baihata and Agartala  bypasses are under construction and bypasses of Dibrugarh, Tinsukhiya, Makum, Dum Duma, Rupai, Digboi, Margreita, Ledo and North-Lakhimpur in Assam and Shillong, Jowai and Tura bypasses in Meghalaya and Dimapur and Kohima bypasses in Nagaland and Gangtok bypass in Sikkim are in Planning and Survey & Investigation stage.

Time frame for works of double laning, 4-laning and construction of bypasses approved during 2007-08 is given below:

The list of  works for double laning, four laning and bypasses approved under Annual Plan 2007-08

Assam: Widening of 8 km of existing intermediate lane of NH-37 from 563/0 to 571/0 to double lane by March 2010

Manipur: Widening to 4-lane from km 323.330 to 326.660 of NH-39 by March 2010

Meghalaya: Widening of single lane to two lane from km 21/870 – 43/00 0f NH-51 by March 2010

Nagaland: Widening to 2-lane with geometric improvement from km 17.00 to 23.00 of NH-61 by March 2010 and widening to 2-lane with geometric improvement from km 33.00 to 40.00 of NH-61 also by March 2010.


State agency offers ‘permanent’ solution

April 8, 2008

A perpetual or permanent road is a long-life bituminous road that needs no maintenance, is of superior quality and ideal for heavy-traffic corridors

Bangalore: Bumpy rides on Indian roads may soon be a thing of the past, if the Central Road Research Institute, or CRRI, has its way. The institute is compiling a report on its research on introducing perpetual roads— that last as long as 30 years without cracking—in the country.

Perpetual roads are hugely popular in the US and China.

“Perpetual roads are the future for important roadways like the national and state highways where maintenance is a huge concern and need to be refurbished because of high traffic volume,” said Sunil Bose, deputy director of pavements at CRRI, which has just completed laboratory tests on perpetual roads in India.

Once the report is complete by July, the New Delhi-based institute wants to collaborate with the National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, and run a pilot project on a stretch of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

A perpetual or permanent road is a long-life bituminous road that needs no maintenance, is of superior quality and ideal for heavy-traffic corridors such as the national highways, said Bose. It has three layers: a wear-resistant top layer, an intermediate layer and a fatigue-resistant base layer, he said.

In India, important roads are overloaded with traffic and therefore suffer harsh weathering, leading to cracks and potholes. Entire structures have to be rebuilt every four-five years at high cost. According to NHAI data, India’s 66,590km of national highways, for example, constitute 2% of its road network but carry 40% of the traffic.

Nirmaljeet Singh, technical member at NHAI, said despite good construction, NHDP roads invariably deteriorate due to the heavy traffic and have to be relaid every five years.

Road experts say that in perpetual roads, the layer of bitumen, a petroleum product that is used to lay roads, is 25-30% thicker than the usual 900mm, and of better quality, giving the roads a stronger cover.

“We are open to such research but it needs to be tested and seen whether it suits our roads and can be effectively maintained in the long run,” said Singh.

These roads are also less expensive in the long term, says CRRI. Bose said that while the cost of building 1km of any NHDP road is around Rs4.2 crore, a perpetual road would cost 25% more. However, these roads would last much longer, recovering the additional costs.

“Perpetual roads are a boon for the economy because goods are delivered on time and there is less fuel wastage because of reduced obstruction in traffic movement. And once you construct these roads, they don’t deteriorate,” said B.B. Pandey, emeritus professor of civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.



April 7, 2008


The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Thiru T.R. Baalu has said that the proposal for setting up of the National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, as recommended by the Committee on Road Safety and Traffic Management, is in the final stages of approval. Similar Boards would be set up in the States also. Thiru Baalu was addressing the Seventeenth Meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to his Ministry here today.

Thiru Baalu also informed the Members that the Department of Road Transport and Highways is also contemplating constitution of a Committee of Experts to suggest a comprehensive scheme to improve the public transport system. The proposed scheme would stipulate certain reform measures to be undertaken by the States to be eligible for seeking financial assistance from the Central Government.

The Minister further informed that a ‘Working Group’ has been constituted by the Government to determine the technology for Advanced Traffic Management System, Advanced Travel or Information System and Electronic Toll collection. He said that a System is proposed to be installed for automatic traffic counting and classification to have better assessment of traffic moving on National highways. He said that these steps are being taken as part of Government’s efforts to give more emphasis on the modernisation of the toll collection system for which introduction of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is proposed to be gradually introduced.

Thiru Baalu said that a proposal has recently been approved for creation of State and National Registers of driving licenses and registration certificates envisaging inter-linking of all Regional Transport Offices. This would enable creation of authentic database for road transport sector, ensuring transparency in the process of registration of motor vehicles and issuance of driving licenses at a total cost of Rs. 148 crore. The project period is two years. It would check issuance of fake driving licenses / registration certificates and lead to better enforcement of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act / Rules, he added.

The Minister also informed that to formulate a scheme for trauma care facilities across the country in general and along the National Highways in particular, his Ministry has been working closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to work out a -2- combined plan of action. For this purpose, Thiru Baalu informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced a scheme for setting up of an integrated network of Trauma Centres along the GQ, North-South and East-West Corridors of the National Highways by upgrading the trauma care facilities in 140 identified State Government Hospitals at a total cost of Rs.732.75 crore during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period. Our Ministry has to supply 140 ambulances and NHAI has to provide 50 Ambulances with advanced life support equipment to identified hospitals.

Giving an account of the progress made on the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), Thiru Baalu observed that upto February 2008, out of the 5,846 kms under the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Project, 4/6 laning of about 5,650 kms has been completed and works are in progress in the remaining 196 kms length. Out of about 7,300 kms length under the North-South and East-West Corridors, 4/6 laning was completed in 1,962 kms and works were under implementation in about 4,359 kms. Under NHDP Phase-III, out of 12,109 kms length, 4-laning has been completed in 330 kms and works are in progress in about 1,745 kms and under NHDP Phase-V, out of 6,500 kms length, 6-laning was in progress in about 1,030 kms.

So far 86 projects valued at Rs.29,576.94 crore have been awarded on BOT (Toll) basis. Out of these, 34 projects have been completed and 52 projects are in progress. Also, so far 25 projects valued at Rs. 9,411.88 crore have been awarded on BOT (Annuity) basis; out of which, 8 projects have been completed and 17 projects are in progress, the Minister informed.

The Members of Parliament who participated in the meeting are: S/Shri M.R. Reddy, S. Ajaya Kumar, L.R. Patil, Hari Kewal Prasad, M.L. Mandal, Tiruchi Siva and Ms. Mabel Rebello.



April 4, 2008


The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Dr. Kalaignar M., Karunanidhi will inaugurate four projects completed at a total cost of Rs. 80 crore by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday the 9th April 2008. He will also lay the foundation stone for Foot-over Bridge at Chromepet on the same day.

The function for the inaugural ceremony would be presided over by the Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Thiru T. R. Baalu and the Minister for Local Administration, Government of Tamil Nadu Thiru M.K Stalin would be the Chief Guest. The Guests of honour of the function would be Thiru M.P. Swaminathan, Minister for Highways, Government of Tamil Nadu and Thiru T.M. Anbarasan, Minister for Labour, Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Irumbuliyur Underpass has been built at a cost of Rs. four crore, four-laning of Chennai Bypass Phase-I up to Porur has been completed by NHAI at a cost of Rs. 70 crore, the pedestrian subway at Tirisulam has cost Rs. five crore and the Bus Shelter at Chromepet built under the MPLAD Scheme has cost Rs. 82 lakhs. The completion of the Irumbuliyur Underpass will facilitate right turn for the Tambaram Traffic to access Chennai Bypass and thereby quicker connectivity to the Golden Quadrilateral Corridor.

The Chromepet Foot-over Bridge for which the foundation stone will be laid on Wednesday to facilitate the commuters in crossing NH-45 to access the railway station on the other side and vice versa which provides rail connectivity to southern part of Tamil Nadu, would cost Rs. 2.40 crore.

Thiru T.R. Baalu has expressed the hope that with the completion of these four projects, the people living in and around these areas would be greatly benefited.


NHAI goes in for a board shake-up

April 3, 2008

The ministry of shipping, road transport and highways has been under severe criticism for NHAI’s inability to meet the deadlines for developing road projects in the country.

New Delhi: Ahead of plans to give out some 10,000km in road projects over the next year, the ruling United Progressive Alliance, or UPA, is replacing at least half of the six-member board of the National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, the country’s apex road regulator.

The radical revamp of the board, the first of its kind, comes at a time when the ministry of shipping, road transport and highways, which works closely with NHAI, has been under severe criticism for its inability to meet the deadlines for developing road projects in the country.

The revamp comes at a time when the ministry of shipping, road transport and highways has been under criticism for its inability to meet the deadlines for developing road projects in the country

The revamp comes at a time when the ministry of shipping, road transport and highways has been under criticism for its inability to meet the deadlines for developing road projects in the country

NHAI oversees the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), under which, almost 33,097km of highways were to be four-laned. Barely 50% of the projects have been awarded so far. As of February this year, work on only 7,942km of highways have been completed; of this, work on around 5,500km was completed during the tenure of the National Democratic Alliance government, which preceded UPA.

NHDP, launched in 1996, was seen as a flagship programme for successive governments, especially since an estimated 60% of freight is still transported by road in the country. There are 66,000km of national highways in India.

Neither the minister, T.R. Baalu, nor the concerned officials, NHAI chairman N. Gokulram and road transport secretary Brahm Dutt, could be immediately reached for comment on Thursday evening. As a result, it is still not clear as to why the government has sought such an overhaul in the NHAI board. The changes have been effected over the past 15 days.

Mint has independently confirmed from various government officials who do not wish to be identified that three out of the six members on NHAI’s board were asked to return to positions at the ministry in the last fortnight. According to officers at NHAI who do not wish to be identified, one of the members C. Kandasamy has already been named a chief engineer at the ministry of shipping and road transport.

A.V. Sinha and Nirmaljeet Singh, too, are being forced to “come back” to their parent ministry. “In one case, the ministry said it would promote a junior officer thereby forcing an NHAI member—on deputation with NHAI—to seek repatriation (back to the ministry),” an officer at the regulator who did not wish to be identified added.

While Sinha could not be reached for comment, Nirmaljeet Singh and Kandasamy declined comment. “I am not with NHAI any more. And for any information pertaining to board members, please contact the chairman,” Kandasamy said.

The shake-up in NHAI’s board comes at a time when the regulator has been accused of not only failing to meet deadlines, but also misgovernance.

“In fact, one of the members was threatened with suspension because some projects in Tamil Nadu got delayed,” said the officer at NHAI.

Highway builders say working with NHAI is difficult primarily because officers refuse to make decisions. “You can say one contractor is bad or may be two contractors are bad, but how can all contractors be bad at the same time? It is the authority (NHAI) that refuses to make decisions for three years sometimes. We are tired of working for them,” said an executive with a highway builder who did not wish to be named. “Why is it, that the same contractors perform on time when it comes to work by the Delhi Metro Corporation?” the executive asked.

Contractors also claim that the authority is unwilling to release money for changes in the scope of work for fear of being investigated by the vigilance department. Mint had earlier reported that almost three in ten NHAI contracts end up in some form of arbitration or the other.

None of the contractors or highway builders contacted by Mint would speak on record, saying it could affect their chances of winning contracts from NHAI in the future.

Meanwhile, the NHAI officials said the board was being revamped because it did not agree with certain proposals made by the Planning Commission on guidelines for drafting tenders for upcoming projects.

“The fact is that the minister has been unhappy with the way the NHAI has functioned in the last year and so these changes are being contemplated,” said a senior government official, who did not wish to be identified.

NHAI has also been named in a court case filed by the National Highway Builders Federation, a trade body representing highway contractors, who claimed that recent pre-qualification criteria used by NHAI favour large bidders. The case is expected to be heard by the Delhi High Court on Friday.

One analyst said it was not fair to accuse only the board, saying that other organizations, such as the Planning Commission, were equally to blame for not ironing out policy issues related to work on NHDP. “The paranoia of the government (over being blamed for non-completion of highways in an election year) could be a factor,” said this analyst who did not wish to be identified.


SA’s Intertoll barred from NH projects

March 27, 2008

NEW DELHI: After Chinese, Malaysian and Korean firms, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has blacklisted South Africa’s infrastructure firm Intertoll for undertaking road sector projects in the country. Intertoll-led joint venture Intertoll-ICS-Cessons O&M, which had bagged the contract to operate and manage Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch (206 km), has been barred from carrying out any highway project in the country for the next 10 years. “The company has failed to comply with the obligation. It was also found that there was leakage in toll collection. After shooting off showcause notices five times to the firm we have now barred them for the next 10 years for undertaking any project directly or indirectly,” a government official told ET. Last year, the government had put nine firms including Lanco Construction and Essar group in the non-performers’ list. Foreign contractors in the list included Korea’s You-One Engineering Construction, Saudi Arabia’s Sticco, China Coal Construction Group Corporation and Moscow-based Centrodostroy. Four Malaysian companies — UEM Builders, Dolomite Industries, Pati SDN Bhd, and Bhumihighway — were also in the list of non-performers. All highway contractors were blacklisted on account of delay in completing highway projects and poor performance. The dispute between joint venture partners also lead to delay in the projects.“Before we bar any contract we give multiple chances to perform. In case of Intertoll we gave them three years’ time to comply with the contractual obligation,” the official said. Intertoll got the Rs 169-crore contract through competitive bidding to operate, manage and collect toll on the Gurgaon-Jaipur highway for eight years. Foreign infrastructure companies are, however, betting big on the country’s road sector. Recently, these firms won three highway projects out of five offered by NHAI under national highways development project (NHDP)-V. All the three companies — Emirate Trading Agency, Isolux Corsan Group and IJM Corp — which bagged various projects roped in an Indian firm. Source: 

NHAI projects Rs 28,000 cr expenditure

March 25, 2008

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has projected an expenditure of Rs 28,000 crore for 2008-09 to complete its ongoing projects and the new projects announced under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). To meet this projected expenditure, the authority is in advanced stages of talks with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of Rs 400 crore. This is in addition to the Rs 1,900 crore it is expecting from multilateral institutions through the central government’s budgetary allocation. Rs 14,000 crore is expected to be contributed by the private sector through public-private partnerships (PPPs) while Rs 7,000 crore is projected to come from fuel surcharge. Besides, the NHAI is planning to refloat the 54 EC tax-free capital gains bond for 2008-09 with a ceiling of Rs 3,700 crore. NHAI officials say the new 54 EC tax-free bonds will be launched once the Finance Act is passed in Parliament. In the current financial year, the NHAI has managed to mop up more than Rs 200 crore through the 54 EC bonds. Officials expect it to mop up nearly Rs 300 crore by the end of the current financial year. Didar Singh, member (finance committee), NHAI, said: “We are quite comfortable with our financial position to meet all the requirements of the various projects under implementation.” Some ongoing projects that are expected to be completed in 2008-09 include the 56.25-km Garhmukteshwar-Muradabad expressway, the 32-km Chennai bypass, the 15-km Chennai-Ennore expressway and the 14.35-km Jawaharlal Nehru Port (phase-II) project. In 2005, the Committee on Infrastructure had prepared a comprehensive plan envisaging a mammoth investment of Rs 2,20,000 crore under the NHDP on concessions or contracts to be awarded by 2012. According to the plan, projects under second, third and fifth phases of the NHDP are expected to be completed by December 2012, while concessions or contracts for fourth, sixth and seventh phases would be awarded by December 2012 and work completed by December 2015. Source: 

Private sector shying away from NE road projects

March 7, 2008

NEW DELHI, March 6 – The Centre may be ready with funds for developing the road sectors in the North-East, but projects have been hit with few takers from the private sector. The lack of response from the private sector has led a Parliamentary Panel to remark that it was disappointed to note that the government initiative did not yield much result in the development of road projects in the North Eastern States.President, Prathibha Devisingh Patil, while addressing the joint session of the Parliament had mentioned about infrastructure projects in the North-East. The SARDP- NE with a funding of Rs 43,000 crore has been formulated to construct, improve and widen roads in the region. However, the government’s offer so far has not yielded the desired results from the private players, slowing down implementation of the projects. The incentives announced by the government for participation of private sector in road sector of NER would invite good response and hopes that NES would get a better road connectivity, said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Culture and Tourism.The Centre has a number of projects in the pipeline for the region including upgradation of 588 km of various National Highways (NHs) to two-lane under Phase A of Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North-East (SARDP-NE) through private sector participation.The Centre had way back in 2005 cleared the construction of the projects on BOT basis. Thereafter, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) invited bids for the most trafficked corridor from Jorabat to Barapani in Meghalaya. But there was no response from the bidders.Later, the Government sanctioned the projects on BOT (Annuity) basis. Further, NHDP:III B, which includes four lanning of 1051 km on NH in NER, has been cleared last year. Currently, detailed project report is under preparation by NHAI, the Committee has been told.It was recommended that the Department undertake a proper scientific study and take the consequent measure to modify the rules and procedures, if necessary, for participation of the private sector in road projects in North-East. Meanwhile, the Ministry has proposed quality audit for SARDP-NE, with possible involvement of IITs. The monitoring of quality of works would be considered through individual experts to be engaged through National Road Congress. Further, reputed institutes such as IITs would be involved for conducting tests and materials and works being executed by the contractor.

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