New highway projects boost construction industry


Hyderabad : After a slowdown in road projects in the country last year, new highway projects this year have boosted the road construction sector, say industry watchers.

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The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has awarded new projects under the public-private partnership and project execution has picked up compared to last year.

The NHAI awarded about 4,375 km of roads in the first nine months of 2012 as against 4,553 km in 2011, 3,338 km in 2010 and 643 km in 2009. The third quarter of 2012 saw awarding of 1,898 km of projects.

The new projects are part of the Rs.3 lakh crore ($70 billion) National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) aimed at developing 50,000 km of national highways in seven phases by 2015.

“The construction industry is looking at making up for lost time with a flow of funds and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts in 2012,” said Thomas Loffler, CEO, bC India – a Bauma Conexpo show, the international trade fair of construction industry.

The effect of the sudden surge in demand for construction machinery, building material machines, mining machines and construction vehicles is reflected in the high demand for participation in the fair scheduled from Feb 5 to 8 in Mumbai.

Around 700 exhibitors and over 40,000 trade visitors from around the world are expected to participate in the show as against 508 companies and 25,000 trade visitors last year.

bC India is a joint venture between Messe Munchen International and the North-American Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Abhijeet Pai, managing director, Puzzolana Group, said the road construction sector was on the path to recovery with the government announcing new norms for road development.

Puzzolana Group, which manufactures crushers, will launch sander, an alternative to mined sand, during Bauma.