Fund crunch, land cost may slow down highway projects -Dipak K Dash
-The Times of India
NEW DELHI: After a major thrust on highway during the last five years, the next government faces the prospect of a sharp slowdown in highway development due to funding constraints and rising project costs, primarily on account of a spike in land acquisition rates. The result: Only 4,600km of the announced 12,000km may actually be taken up during the current financial year.
The situation is so grim that in Jharkhand, J&K, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Goa, NHAI does not plan to take up any stretch this year. In Bihar, work for only 4km will be taken up, with 70km planned in Telangana and 76km in Kerala. Kerala was the first state to flag how only 76km out of the identified 966km was put in the top priority list, which snowballed into a political controversy, forcing NHAI to amend its order. In the case of Tamil Nadu, only 299km out of the identified 1,660km was categorised as top priority and in Karnataka it was 267km out of 11,57 km.
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