NEW DELHI, Feb 23: Efforts to fast-track clearances for highway projects in the highways sector will yield positive results beginning the first quarter of 2015-16, rating agency ICRA has said.
The execution of of road or highway projects at present, however, remain tepid, it added.
ICRA said while NHAI awarded 1,572 Km of contracts during April-November 2014, it had set itself a target of 5,500 Km for FY 2015, 35 per cent of which was earmarked for build, operate and transfer BOT segment and rest for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode.
"In order to meet its target, NHAI will have to award around 3,900 Km by end of Mar 15, which is an uphill task. Out of around 3,500 Km set aside for the EPC awards during current fiscal, 1050 Km were awarded till November 2014," it said.
Around half of targeted EPC awards have received all approvals related to environment and right of way (RoW) and therefore can be awarded quickly as opposed to balance 50 per cent wherein NHAI is still in the process of securing approvals, it said.
Awarding highway projects after securing all approvals and RoW would significantly reduce the subsequent time overrun as delays in acquisition of RoW and clearances from Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) have been the major reasons for delayed execution in past, it added.
ICRA's senior vice president Rohit Inamdar said, "Overall execution rate declined by 17 per cent to 3.41 Km/day during FY 2015 from 4.14 Km/day during the same period in the preceding year."
He said although the new government has taken several initiatives like delegating the powers for grant of forest clearances to the regional offices, online filing for clearances to construct rail over bridges and under bridges, and increasing limits on sand mining, the actual execution is yet to gather momentum.