News: A consortium led by SEW Infrastructure Limited has started work on a road project in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, reports Hindu Business Line. The project, which is to be carried out on a build, operate and transfer basis, will involve an investment of INR27.70bn (US$499.41mn). The project will entail the four-laning work of the 206km section between the Delhi-Saharanpur segment of the Uttar Pradesh State Highway-57. The project, which has a concession period of 25 years, was awarded to the consortium through a global tender process. On August 1 2012, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav laid the foundation stone for the project.
BMI View: India boasts the third-largest road network in the world after the US and China, with roadways stretching 3,320,410km, 1,517,000km (45%) of which is paved. Aware of the deficiency in the highway system, the government has been supporting the construction of roads, and India's road building plan has been one of the flagship aspects of the country's road map for infrastructure. The roads and bridges sub-sector is forecast to average annual real growth of 11.2% between 2012-2013 and 2016-2017. Under India's 12th Five-Year Plan, the road transport ministry is planning to release US$120bn worth of road-widening projects with a total length of 55,000km, with 65% of the investment from the private sector.