Raghav Chandra, a career civil servant, took over as the Chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) a year ago. Govindraj Ethiraj speaks to Chandra on all that has been accomplished in his first year in office as well as the future focus areas.
Considerable work is being done on India’s roads since the NDA government took charge. According to a report done by BOOM earlier this month, roadways at Rs. 263,404 crore took up the largest chunk of Government published tenders in 2015-16, adding upto more than 51% of the total published tender amount of Rs. 623,709 crore ($90 billion).
Raghav Chandra confirms this, “More work has been done on building highways across India than ever before. We hope to add upto 25% of the total road length in the coming year.”
While NHAI is working to revive old projects as well tender new ones, the biggest hurdle Chandra says he faces is the reluctance of banks to come forward to support new projects – either due to their own limitations or because of projects that are still languishing.
Chandra also said NHAI is looking to bid out 30,000 km of projects in the next 2-3 years which include several greenfield expressway projects.