A government company mandated to fast-track road projects in tough terrain, including border areas, is set to award projects worth Rs 1.3 lakh crore over the next five years.
The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) will also be laying out 1,500 km of highways in various states under Modi government's ambitious Bharat Mala project.
"NHIDCL has set a target to award projects worth Rs 1,30,000 crore, including 10,000 km of highways and 2,000 bridges," NHIDCL Director (finance) Sanjay Jaju said.
Jaju said the company at present is handling 74 projects of about Rs 35,000 crore. "In addition, we will be handling another 1,500 km for the Bharat Mala project in various states."
The Bharat Mala project envisages construction of 5,000 km of road network all along the borders and coastal areas at a cost of Rs 55,000 crore.
NHIDCL, a fully-owned company of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, awarded 18 projects last fiscal for building 600 km of roads at an expenditure of about Rs 8,500 crore in Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
Last month, foundation stones were laid by the company for 10 projects for building 281 kms of highways entailing an expenditure of Rs 5,320 crore. The company plans to award road packages worth Rs 14,599 crore in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Nagaland in the current fiscal while it has marked 10 projects worth Rs 6,936 crore for 2016-17 mostly for these states.
Of the current lot worth about Rs 35,000 crore being handled by it, mostly are in the North-East while the remaining are in Andaman & Nicobar, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
Earlier, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said NHIDCL, on the lines of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), will expedite projects mainly in the North-East and areas sharing international borders to boost economic activities, besides job creation.
NHIDCL was incorporated in July 2014 with the aim to fast-track highway projects that have been pending with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for several years.