India digitizes sanctions and approvals

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is making the sanctioning and approval process of national highways paperless. A new standard operating procedure (SoP) has been finalized to speed up the process.

The new procedure has been made mandatory for all work carried out through the National Highways Authority of India, state governments, Border Roads Organization, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd and MoRTH PIUs (Project Implementation Units).

Accordingly, e-files will be created for all highway projects containing all details, including the name of the work and the approved cost. This file will be maintained at the project sites and the ministry, so that sanction and approval can be completed in minutes rather than days, once all other details and sanction are secured online.

It was also decided to appoint a chief engineer to ensure faster review and execution of projects.

In India, the sanction itself will be transmitted electronically to all concerned. The Project Area division will also keep an e-file record of all estimates received, processed and approved, including a signed copy of the sanction letter and technical note.

The planning and monitoring zone will have master access to the datasets and will be able to access the sanction details for the whole country in real time.

For example, upon completion of a project, the data will be updated on the MIS and frozen as per the agreement. The changes are expected to speed up the highway enforcement process and bring better results in implementation.

Hoped to speed up highway construction

Highway development in the country has been flat for the last few years, with construction only picking up again in fiscal year 2024, reaching 12,300 km. It is hoped that the new system will help further accelerate highway tenders and construction. This is also crucial for the government’s Vision 2047 plan to implement more than 50,000 km of access-controlled and complex highway projects.

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