India Now Proudly Holds World Record For Fastest Road Construction4 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
For any developing country like India, infrastructure development and road construction plays an important role in the overall development of the nation. India is now pacing up its infrastructure development which has led to a Guinness World Record. Let’s see how.
With the reported construction of a 2.5 km 4-lane concrete road and a 1-lane 25-km bitumen Solapur-Bijapur road within 24 hours, India has made it to the Guinness World records for the fastest road construction, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari stated in his recent address to media.
As per the media reports, Patel Infrastructure, a contractor with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), created a world record by laying the highest quantity of concrete on a four-lane highway in 24 hours in February 2021
The record was reportedly set for laying of Pavement Quality Concrete on a four-lane highway of 2,580 meters in length within 24 hours. Starting at 8 a.m. on February 1, 2021, they finished the job, totaling 2,580 meters X 4 lanes i.e. approximately 10.32 lane kilometers by 8 a.m. the next morning. With a width of 18.75 meters, as much an area as 48,711 square meters of concrete was laid for the expressway in 24 hours. The highest quantity of concrete laid in 24 hours – 14,613 cubic meters was achieved. It was part of the Greenfield Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai 8-lane Expressway project.
Gadkari in his address, further said that the politics of the 21st century is that of progress and that the Government will build infrastructure worth Rs. 111 lakh crore in the next five years.
Country Exceeds Highway Construction Aim
In a separate statement, the Ministry of Roads, Transport, and Highways said that the construction of National Highways had touched a record of 37 kilometers per day in the year 2020-21.
It further said that over the last seven years, the length of National Highways has gone up by 50% from 91,287 km as of April 2014 to 1,37,625 km as of March 20, 2021.
Despite pandemic-related disturbances and a national lockdown in the first quarter, when construction operations came to a halt, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways met its highway construction target for the fiscal year 2021.
In FY21, 13,394 km of highways were created, or 37 km per day. The goal for 2019-20 was 11,000 kilometers.
It can be conveniently said that India is progressing on the road construction front as the pace of highway construction was reportedly just 12 km/day in 2014-15.
India was able to fast-track road construction work as the Ministry implemented a slew of relief steps, including switching from milestone-based billing (typically 45-75 days) to monthly billing and releasing retention money or performance protection in proportion to the work already completed. The initiatives aided in shortening the cash conversion cycle while also getting performance guarantees and associated margins.
As per the reports, the execution saw a sharp increase due to the support of the Government’s liquidity boosting measures. Notwithstanding the high cost of re-mobilizing labor, many road contractors made special arrangements to facilitate the return of labor due to improved cash conversion cycle from the Ministry and NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) projects.
How did India Exceed The Target Despite Lockdown?
Around March and July of 2020, the tightest part of the lockdown occurred just before or during the monsoon season, when construction work is normally very minimal. When road construction resumed in August-September, economic activity began to pick up. Government initiatives, such as bank guarantees for road builders, guaranteed stable cash flow, expedited payments, and cleared pending dues, besides ensuring availability of land for road construction projects and cushioned construction activity.
NHAI acted as a facilitator for bank guarantees and payments while any kind of disputes (involving contractors) were resolved. So, the contractors had to just mobilize people for these road projects (as everything else was handled by the Government).
Infra Push In Budget 2021
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22, announced that the Centre will award National Highway projects to the tune of 8,500 km by March 2022 and complete an additional 11,000 km of the National Highway Corridor. To this end, Ms. Sitharaman announced projects in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, and Assam.
In the budget, Sitharaman announced the highest ever enhanced outlay of Rs. 1.18 lakh crore had been set aside for ports and highways.
Big Boost To Road Construction Companies
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has projected physical construction of another 12,000 km by March 2022, with several projects slated for completion this calendar year.
India’s push for infrastructure and better roads has pushed up the Nifty Infra index, the index has generated returns of 10% in the last three months.
Shares of Infrastructure Construction giant Larsen & Turbo have been gaining, the stock was up 6% in the last three months.
The shares of other construction companies such as NCC, Dilip Buildcon, Ashoka Buildcon, and PNC Infratech gave 28%, 46%, 3%, and 48% respectively in the last three months.
Fundamental & Technical Dose
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