New Delhi: The Road Transport and Highways Ministry is hopeful that stalled projects, which are worth at least Rs 1.5 lakh crore, will be revived soon under the Narandra Modi-led new government, with officials already being instructed to list hurdles and devise fresh action plan.
Hopes have also been fuelled by the NHAI's approval to reschedule premium payments worth about Rs 6,000 crore for nine of the 23 stressed road projects.
These projects are stuck due to various regulatory hurdles, absence of green approvals, delays and other factors.
“With instructions to list bottlenecks and devise a strategy to fast track projects, we are extremely hopeful that projects stuck for long would start getting on stream soon,” a Ministry official told PTI.
He said things are likely to look up again in the highways sector, which had hit a low during the last few years, as the new government is expected to inject a new lifeblood into the infrastructure sector.
With NHAI on Friday allowing rescheduling of premium payments for for road players of nine stressed projects, revival of other projects and fresh investments in the sector are on the cards.
Premium is a payment made by the developer to NHAI in build, operate and transfer (BOT) projects and is based on projected returns from tolls.
The official further said that a recent court order delinking environment clearance from forest clearance has paved the way for execution of stuck projects and these projects entailing Rs 30,000 crore investments would also soon see the light of the day.
The official said policy initiatives in right direction along with follow-up actions will result in expediting plans to upgrade 55,000 km of highways by 2017 with an expenditure of Rs 5.89 lakh crore, a large portion of which is likely to be funded by the private sector through PPP mode.
This will be part of the envisaged USD 1 trillion investment in infrastructure during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).
Also, chances are that projects worth Rs 33,688 crore under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East, which are under way, will be expedited.
Meanwhile, top on the agenda of Ministry officials is seeking more autonomy for decision making in a bid to expedite projects.
Narendra Modi, along with his Cabinet Ministers, will take oath on May 26.
India has 33 lakh km of road network, of which about 79,000 km is National Highways.