Bids for 2,000 km road projects in the offing

Bids for road projects of around 2,000 kilometres are in the pipeline and will likely be awarded this month onwards, as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) looks to push construction activity after a brief slowdown.
Project award and construction activity was lean in April and May, as offices remained shut and labourers returned home due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
For awards, bids of around 800 km were received before the lockdown in April. Bids for another nearly 1,000 km are in various stages of evaluation.
From April this year, the NHAI has awarded around 450 km of projects, while construction of 480 km of roads was completed till May. Overall, the pace of highway construction was 73.5% more in April-May, compared with the first two months of the last fiscal year.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways constructed 1,470 km of national highways up to May this year, compared with 847 km a year earlier, as per data from the ministry.
“June is primarily about bringing labour back, bringing things on track,” a senior official told ET. Construction sites had just half the normal level of labourers in May. “We have seen some setbacks on sites, delays, during the past month,” the official said.