Bengaluru: The construction of national highways in the year 2020 surpassed that of the year 2019, as per a report in Times of India. 

Till December end, it was 7,767 km, which translates to nearly 29 km per day. During the same period in 2019, 6,940 km NH were constructed or 26 km a day, the website added. 

It quoted a highway ministry official as saying, 
“We are confident of achieving the highest construction of NH stretch this year despite losing the first two months due to the nationwide lockdown. The earlier record was 29.7 km per day in 2018-19. Only in December, we constructed 1,560 km. We have set the target to touch 11,000 km by March 31”. 

It is to be noted that the period of December to March is considered to be the most conducive for road construction. The ministry now hopes to increase the length to 35km a day, by March end. 

The ministry has also relaxed the norms for payment for the purpose of road construction. 

The website quoted a circular in this regard. 

“It has been observed that relaxation of Schedule-H has provided good liquidity to the contractors executing the National Highway works which has helped in keeping the pace of construction high even during the Covid-19 pandemic situation. Therefore, the government has decided to further extend the relaxation of Schedule-H up to June 30, 2021”. 

It is to be noted that Schedule-H deals with payment. 

The ministry had come up with the relaxation to ensure there is money in the hands of road builders in view of the lockdown due to pandemic. 

That was extended till December.