In 2020, State may look for new sources of funding road works

With banks still reluctant to lend for infrastructure projects and construction of roads, the State government is planning to dump the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM), a brainchild of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. In 2017, the State Cabinet approved road works of nearly 10,000 km under the HAM, a mix of the engineering, procurement and construction and build, operate, transfer models. But the government is now tapping new sources of funds from international financial institutions and may do away with HAM starting 2020, senior officials of the Public Works Department said. "We have informed the CM, the HAM model has not received a favourable response from banks in the wake of a liquidity crunch in country.

This has affected the works of maintaining roads and highways in the State," said a senior official. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said roads in the State will be constructed using new technologies and newer sources of funds. Mr.

Thackeray had last week toured areas of Vidarbha, a stronghold of senior BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, and pointed to the poor condition of roads.Roads all over the State need an overhaul, he had said. Mr. Thackeray said the Maha Vikas Aghadi government would reach out to financial institutions all over the world urging them to fund road works in the State.

Senior officials said he has also directed the PWD to research road technologies used in advanced countries. "The CM said if we use new-age technology to upgrade roads, the condition may remain better for a longer period," said a PWD official. The poor roads in Maharashtra have also resulted in a high death toll. According to the Road Accidents in India-2017 report prepared by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur feature in the top 50 cities for accidents in the country.

In Mumbai, 3,160 accidents occurred in 2017, of which 467 were fatal and 2,603 resulted in injuries.

A total of 490 people died in these accidents, while 3,287 were injured.

In Pune, of the 1,508 accidents, 360 were fatal and 966 resulted in injuries.

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