New Delhi: As the UPA government on Tuesday completes its third year in office in second term, the road transport ministry on Tuesday exuded confidence that it will achieve the target of constructing 20 km roads per day before elections in 2014.
"Before we will go for elections, we will achieve the target (of constructing 20 km roads per day). I am very much confident about it," Road Transport Minister CP Joshi told reporters here while talking about achievements of his ministry.
Stating that the pace of awarding road projects has improved considerably in the last fiscal, he said the government has kept a target of awarding 8,800 km road projects in the current financial year.
"We awarded 7,900 km road projects last year, which is 54 per cent more than previous year. This year's target is 8,800 km and this will increase further in the next financial year," the minister said.
In 2009, when the UPA government took charge of the office for second consecutive term, it had unveiled an ambitious target of building 35,000 km of roads in five years.
This translated into building 20 km of roads in a day. The target, however, is yet to be achieved despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over it.
During the last fiscal, on an average 10.39 km of roads were constructed in a day, nearly 50 per cent below the target, according to a government reply to the Rajya Sabha on May 3.
As per the reply, NHAI constructed 2,248 km of National Highways, or 6.16 km per day in last fiscal, while other organisations like state PWDs and Border Roads Organisation built 4.23 km per day of NH in last fiscal.
The Road Transport Minister also said he will visit Canada next month to enhance cooperation in the road sector between the two countries.
"We are looking at sharing and exchange of technical experts and technology, especially in respect of National Highways Development Programme (NHDP). Tentatively, the visit is scheduled between June 10-13," Joshi said.