Source : PTI | Around 85% of road projects are likely to be completed by the end of this fiscal, as the steps taken by the government to ensure faster clearances like monitoring and quicker resolution of issues have started showing results, Road Transport and Highways secretary Anurag Jain said on Wednesday. Jain said, the Road ministry is getting environment and forest clearance quickly and monitoring mechanisms of delayed projects have been improved.
“We took up completion of projects on time as a challenge, and in cases where the project is already delayed, a revised schedule was taken as the target. I have a feeling that by the end of this financial year (March), we will complete about 85% of projects on time,” he told PTI in an interview.
Jain further noted that “PRAGATI meeting by the Prime Minister, monitoring by Cabinet Secretariat, creation of Integrated Project Monitoring portal, use of PM GatiShakti in planning have considerably improved the pace of implementation of the projects during the whole life cycle of the projects.”
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) report, which monitors infrastructure projects worth INR 150 crore and above, the road transport and highways sector has the maximum number of delayed projects.
He also said that the ministry of road transport and highways is in conversations with MoSPI to standardize the definition of ‘delayed projects’.
On the Road ministry’s asset monetisation plan, Jain said state-owned National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) road monetisation pace has not slowed down and The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) will also achieve its asset monetisation target.
“We have identified road projects for monetisation under viz toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model, Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model. You will see a lot of activity happening this year,” he said.
InvIT is an instrument on the pattern of mutual funds, designed to pool money from investors and invest in assets that will provide cash flows over a period of time.
MoRTH is making an effort to achieve a target of more than INR 40,000 crore through various modes of asset monetisation and by raising resources through Special Purpose Vehicle in this financial year.
Asked why build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects have taken a backseat, Jain said when the Modi government assumed office for the first time in May 2014, there were lots of stalled projects, so a lot of hard work was done to resolve those issues.
“Now that environment is once again back, where we can look at some good BOT projects… We hope this year, we will be able to come up with good BOT projects also,” he said.
Responding to a question on National Vehicle Scrappage Policy, Jain said that there are challenges, however, the policy has started receiving positive responses from states and other stakeholders.
“Around 36 vehicle scrapping centres have been put in place across 13 states. Another 34 centres are under construction, while another 27 are under approval stage,” he informed.
He noted that the pace of setting up of Automated Testing Centres needs to be expedited. “There are some states where there are gaps, so we are pursuing those states also,” he said, adding that there is a need to work more on registered automated testing stations for transport vehicles.
The Vehicle Scrapping Policy was introduced for the first time in August 2021, focuses on phasing out old and unfit vehicles to reduce vehicular pollution.
The policy aims to de-register private cars that are aged more than 20 years and commercial vehicles aged more than 15 years.