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Relevance

Among the few that performed well in infrastructure last year is the roads sector. Inclusive growth will remain the underlying theme for the 12th Five Year Plan. With a 4 per cent growth aimed in agriculture growth, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has announced that “In the 12th Plan (2012-17), we will pay special attention to the remote areas of our country and to rural areas. Connecting such areas by rail and road will get the top-most priority.”

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the National Rural Roads Development Agency(NRRDA) and the state road development corporations will be busy next year. A major part—about 20,000 km—of the National Highways Development Programme’s(NHDP) Phase IV will be bid out in 2012. On another front, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), targeted at covering rural habitations with motorable roads, will see a large augmentation in budgetary allocation in the 12th Plan, and will be more aggressive. Many states have shown aggression in connecting their states, cities, towns and villages better next year.

While more projects likely to be offered next year on wards on an EPC model, experts forecast that many rural road projects may be awarded through PPP by bundling in packages: New pilot schemes including the “modified EPC basis” will be on the anvil.

How will our country achieve the objective that the Prime Minister has set? Practitioners in the roads and related industries will have a critical role to play, starting with a platform such as this conference to understand, analyse, discuss and recommend ways forward.

The 5th India Roads Conference 2012 was held on 15th & 16th  February at , New Delhi. 

Theme: Connecting Rural with Urban India for Inclusive Growth.


Conference Chair : Day 1
Dr. J. N Singh, Member(Finance), National Highways Authority of India

Conference Chair : Day 2
Dr. Arvind Mayaram, Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Rural Development , Government of India

The conference described new initiatives and methods in Road sector, debated on relevant questions, and made recommendations. Some of them were: 
  • New Five Year Plan: Issues and ways forward
  • Premium bids in highways
  • Rural connectivity plan analysis
  • Aiming for quality construction
  • Project management and monitoring processes in roads
  • Financing highways and rural roads
  • Viability of rural roads
  • Tendering processes
  • Modified EPC and other new modes of delivery
  • Connectivity as enabler of cold chain and agricultural warehousing industries
  • Domestic and international case studies in roads sector
  • Recommendations and ways forward
Key Takeaways
  • What lessons policymakers have learnt from the 11th Plan in infrastructure, and how will they translate into roads sector? 
  • How much of the outlay attracted private investment?
  • How would negative VGF (premium) highways fare next year?
  • Should more expressways figure in future plans?
  • Will “Modified EPC”, which operates like PPP, work better?
  • What is the government planning to augment private participation in rural roads?
  • Will rural roads projects achieve scale to attract competition from bigger players who can assure quality?
  • How can the tendering process for awarding rural road projects be improved, especially as the segment is starting to attract bigger, national players?
  • In what ways will enhanced connectivity multiply investments in cold chains and other rural segments?

Format

Our conference was headed by a Conference Chair, an eminent personality connected with the policymaking sphere relating to the industry. The Chair, along with Session Chairs, led and summarized the conference’s key points, and made recommendations to policymakers and the industry.

ASAPP Conferences believes that interactivity at conferences results in better spread of understanding ground issues as well as in involving our delegates in discussions in regards to operations, technology and policy. Such interactivity also helps in evolving critical issues and taking them further in the form of recommendations. Consequently, the conference is replete with panel discussions, often involving delegate participation, and exhaustive Q&A sessions.

A typical session opened with the Session Chair’s lengthy introduction to the session’s main subject. This was followed by related addresses by the panelists in that session, a panel discussion, and Q&A. The session concluded with a comprehensive summary by the Session Chair.

Our typical conference includes two coffee breaks and a lunch break during the day, allowing plenty of time for business and professional networking opportunities among attendees.


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