The parliamentary standing committee on roads has expressed concern over the Ministry of Roads Highways and Transport (MoRTH) achieving only 57 per cent, till January 2023, of the total target of constructing 12,000 km of national highways (NH) this fiscal.

The panel said while the Ministry has made only so much progress in both award and construction till January, it has spent 87 per cent of its RE FY23 allocation. “It seems likely that given the time as well as budgetary constraints, the Ministry would fall short of its award and completion targets. The committee suggests that the Ministry may look into possible cost overruns in projects,” it added.

About 6,883 km of NHs have been awarded and construction has been completed in about 6,803 km till January. In FY23, an above average rainfall during the monsoon adversely impacted the construction activity.

The panel also suggested that the Ministry make “sincere efforts” to reach as close as possible to its FY23 targets. It should also factor in rainfall forecasts while setting monthly/quarterly targets for FY24 and also analyse reasons behind the slow awarding of road projects till January, since it is not impeded by monsoon.

“The committee would like to know the reasons for decrease in targeted and actual construction of roads since FY19,” the panel added.

FY24 targets

During FY24, the Road Ministry intends to award works in 12,000 km of NHs and construct 12,500 km, the panel said.

The Ministry has been allocated around ₹2.70-lakh crore as Budgetary Estimates (BE) for FY24, which is about 98.7 per cent of the projected demand of ₹2.74-lakh crore. It is 35.8 per cent above FY23 BE (around ₹1.99-lakh crore) and 25 per cent over the net RE for FY23 (₹2.17-lakh crore).