Celebrating ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, NHAI Chairperson Smt. Alka Upadhyaya inaugurated a two-day conference of Regional Officers in Kolkata. This is a first of its kind initiative that brings together NHAI officials and regional stakeholders from West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam onto a common platform to share knowledge, achievements and challenges.
Apart from project reviews, the conference also hosted an ‘Open House’ for free-flowing discussion of NHAI Regional Officers and Project Directors with the Chairperson. A knowledge sharing session on ‘Best Practices in Bridge Construction’ was also conducted.
More such conferences shall be held in different regions of the country under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which is a Government of India initiative to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.
Overall, in FY 2021-22 NHAI registered record growth in all fields. During the year, NHAI awarded projects for a total length of 6,306 km across the nation, which is the highest length awarded by the authority in last three years. In construction also, NHAI constructed a total length of 4,325 km and achieved the feat of highest length of projects constructed in a financial year in last three years. Capital Expenditure by NHAI for development of Highway Infrastructure reached an all-time high of over Rs. 1,68,770 crore during FY 21-22.
NHAI is also implementing Bharatmala Pariyojana, India’s largest highway infrastructure program till date with development of 34,800 km of National Highway corridors at an investment of Rs. 5.35 Lakh Crore. 22 Greenfield expressways and access-controlled corridors will be developed as part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana with length of 8,400 km and capital cost of Rs. 3.6 Lakh Crore.
The aim is to look beyond just developing highways and includes the holistic and integrated development of the infrastructure framework. Initiatives such as ‘PM Gati Shakti’ – National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity, brings together infrastructure schemes of various Ministries and State Governments. Also, to strengthen country’s logistics infrastructure, 35 Multi- Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) are being developed by NHAI through the National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), 100% owned SPV of NHAI.
Parvatmala, the National Ropeways Development Programme will also facilitate last mile connectivity and develop tourism & transportation in the hilly regions of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, and the Northeast.
In the State of West Bengal, NHAI has so far constructed a total 1,201 km road network. At present, the construction work of 356 km of projects is ongoing. The total cost of ongoing projects is Rs. 13,570 crore.
NHAI is also planning to award 270 km of projects worth Rs. 25,000 crore in West Bengal in FY 2022-23, which will not only improve the connectivity within the State but also boost the economy.
NHAI is not only constructing National Highways of world class standard but is also taking keen interest in constructing accident-free National Highways. To minimize highway accidents, some stretches have been adopted as zero fatality corridor. Barakar to Panagarh section of NH-2 in West Bengal is one of them. NHAI is also identifying black spots (Place of high accident) in construction with Police Dept. of Govt of West Bengal and 459 black spots have been identified. Out of these, 301 black spots have been made safe by implementing long term corrective measures, whereas work is under progress on 146 black spots. Rectification work on the remaining black spots will also begin shortly.
NHAI is committed to develop the National Highways Infrastructure at a rapid pace and envisions to provide safe, smooth, and seamless travel experience on National Highways.