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The next time you go to watch a movie in a theatre near you, you will get a lesson on road safety on the big screen.
Soon, all trucks that pass through Delhi will be fitted with reflective tapes. The Delhi government, in a recent policy-level meeting, has ordered the transport department and the traffic police to ensure that no truck is left out.
According to Rakesh Mehta, chief secretary, "Use of reflective tapes in trucks would help reduce accidents and risk of collisions, as they would give better visibility to trucks on highways."
Delhi registered an alarming number of fatal accidents caused by trucks last year. According to traffic department records, out of 2,104 road accidents,257 were caused by trucks. The accidents resulted in the loss of 262 lives.
NEW DELHI: A 13% hike in the plan allocation for road, transport and highways ministry, which has set a target of constructing 20 km of highways per day, seems meagre. But highways minister Kamal Nath gives an answer to why the road and highways sector got only this much despite the sector being declared as government's thrust area. "Since we could not even use the allocated amount this financial year, how could I ask for more,'' he told
In fact, the central plan outlay sheet presented in the budget shows that the ministry failed to spend the entire allocated amount for the financial year 2009-10 despite setting an ambitious target of awarding 12,000 km of highways this fiscal. Against the estimated allocation of Rs 20,450 crore, it is likely to spend Rs 18,765 crore by the end of the current fiscal. The plan outlay for the next fiscal has been estimated at Rs 25,455 crore.
The nodal agency for building national highways, the NHAI, could not utilize 13% of its last budgetary allocation of Rs 8,578 crore. However, the allocation for the authority has been increased by 27.9% over the revised estimates to Rs 9,471 crore for the next fiscal.
New Delhi: The road transport & highways ministry has lowered the ambitious target of awarding highway construction projects from 12,000 km to 7,000 km by June this year.
The development comes within three months of extending the deadline from March to June to achieve the target.
Till December 2009, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which acts as the nodal agency for bidding out highway development projects, could manage to award projects for development of only 2,100-km highways. The Planning Commission expects that the authority would be able to award only 3,794-km projects by March 31 this year.
“By June this year, we will award 7,000 km of new (highway construction) projects. What we would do by June has not been done by the government in during any Five-Year Plan,” road transport & highways minister Kamal Nath said during the annual general meeting of industry chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) on Saturday.
In November last year, Nath extended the deadline for awarding of 124 road projects to June next year. “We have set a deadline to award around 12,000 km of road projects by March 2010. But, that is not happening. The award process for all the projects will be completed by June next year,” Nath had said.
New Delhi: India’s record in road deaths has touched a new low, as toll rose to at least 14 deaths per hour in 2008 against 13 the previous year. The total annual deaths due to road accidents has crossed 1.18 lakh, according to the latest report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
While trucks/lorries and two-wheelers were responsible for over 40% deaths, the rush during afternoon and evening hours were the most fatal phases. Traffic experts are alarmed over the shooting trend of fatalities on roads between 2003 and 2008, and progressive states having a significant share of road fatalities. While the toll was only 84,430 in 2003, it crossed 1.18 lakh in 2008, an increase of nearly 40%. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu reported 12%, 11% and 10.8% of total road accident deaths in the country.
‘‘The toll is on the rise and no one knows who is to be held responsible. Should central assistance for curbing accidents and fatalities be cut in case of states which are failing to reduce accidents and deaths? We must give a thought to the increasing tally of injured in road accidents,’’ said Rohit Baluja, a member of the Commission for Global Road Safety.
NEW DELHI: By the end of this month, all National Highways (NH) across India will be renumbered, which the government claims will more scientific than now. So, the popular NH-8 connecting Delhi and Mumbai will be renumbered as NH-48 and similarly, the Kolkata-Delhi highway, which is presently NH-2, will become NH-19. Moreover, these primary corridors will also
Sources in the road, transport and highways ministry said the final notification could happen any time and that the renumbering has already been vetted by the law ministry. "We have already circulated the details to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the state governments. So, they are in the know of this. Though it will take a couple of years for people to get accustomed to the new numbers, in the long run this will prove as a big help, more so when we are adding more stretches to the NH network,'' an official said.
As per the detailed report, highways starting from north to south will be in even numbers and those running in the east-west direction will be in odd numbers. For example, the East-West corridor starting from Silchar in Assam and terminating in Porbandar in Gujarat will be renamed as NH-27 and the North-South corridor starting from Srinagar and terminating in Kanyakumari will be renumbered NH-44.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has tightened its noose around sub-contractors, with a minimum eligibility clause, to ensure the quality of roads being built and avoid mishaps like the Kota bridge collapse that claimed 30 lives.
The new clause, introduced for the first time, states that sub-contractors, engaged by a concessionaire, must have the experience of completing at least a single highway project of 20 per cent value of the estimated project cost in the preceding five years from the date of execution of the current work.
So, a concessionaire can award projects worth Rs 1,000 crore to a sub contractor, if only the sub-contractor has done a project worth Rs 200 crore in the last five years. Most of the work in laying roads is done by thousands odd sub-contractors under the supervision of a concessionaire.
RULE OF THE ROAD
* A concessionaire shall engage sub-contractors with an experience of at least one single completed highway work of value at least 20% of the estimated project cost in the preceding 5 years
* A bidder shall not be eligible if, as on the due date, the bidder either by itself or as member of a consortium has been declared by NHAI as the selected bidder for undertaking three or more projects and the bidder is yet to achieve financial close
Only six out of 42 projects worth over Rs 50,000 crore awarded by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) since January 2009 have achieved financial closure, raising fresh doubts over Roads and Highways Minister Kamal Nath’s ambitious plans to add 20 km of road per day.
This poor record is the result of banks’ reluctance to lend to projects for which constructors have made high, unviable bids. The 42 projects cover roughly 3,200 km.
“Banks are reluctant to lend to projects for which companies have bid aggressively,” said Sanjay Sethi, executive director & head of Infrastructure Group at Kotak Mahindra Capital Company.
Under the bidding system, companies that bid the highest negative grant or the lowest Viability Gap Funding (VGF) win these projects that come under the Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) scheme.
This means that if NHAI sets the cost of building a stretch of highway at, say, Rs 1,000 crore, a bidder may have won the project offering Rs 1,200 crore, implying a negative grant of Rs 200 crore.
VGF, on the other hand, is government finance demanded by a concessionaire to make a project financially viable and can be up to 40 per cent of the project cost.