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National Highways to be pothole free by December this year: Gadkari, ET Infra


The government will soon firm up a roadmap to make India’s national highways pothole free by December 2023 with construction focus shifting from the engineering, procurement and construction (EPF) model to build-operate-transfer (BOT) model and the hybrid annuity model (HAM) for government projects under the ministry of road transport and highways.

“Under BOT mode, the maintenance of the highways lies with the contractor and hence good quality roads are made which minimises their maintenance cost,” road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

According to Gadkari, a policy is being made to ensure potholes free national highways and young engineers will be roped in to make the project a success.

Kadkari was addressing the media on more than a dozen initiatives that his ministry has undertaken over the years to reduce India’s carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels.

A senior government official said it has been a conscious decision to now move from EPC model to BOT and HAM model for all projects above Rs 500 crore while continuing with EPC model for construction of smaller patches of roads.

The ministry of road transport and highways has done the mapping of the entire national highway length of 1,46,000 crore and is firming up performance-based maintenance and short-term maintenance contracts to remove potholes by December this year.

Gadkari further said his ministry is working on a separate policy for use of municipal waste in road construction. The government’s policy will have an enabling provision to promote use of municipal waste in embankment construction.

“We are working on a feasible model which will focus on incentivising creation of waste segregation facilities,” he said.

According to Gadkari, his ministry has firmed up a draft policy that will promote use of alternative fuel in construction equipment to reduce cost and dependence on fossil fuels. The ministry is in talks with the finance ministry for approval.

“Incentives like interest subvention schemes can be worked out so that concessionaires or contractors can invest in construction equipment running on alternate fuels instead of fossil fuels,” the minister said.

The minister further said that the transport ministry has taken several initiatives to decarbonise the sector including evaluation of various technologies to develop electric highways between Delhi and Jaipur where electric traction will be used to run electric buses in the same manner as is done for railways.

  • Published On Sep 28, 2023 at 03:58 PM IST

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