Indian National Highways

Case Study

Development and Maintenance – The practices of Ministry of Surface Transport, A Government of India initiative

Based on research done by Amit Kumar at Ministry of Surface Transport, New Delhi, India. Dates spent: 15th December 2003 till 31st March 2004

Project Organization Background

The Government of India under the Ministry of Surface Transport (MOT) carries out the development and maintenance of national highways in India. The ministry is the nodal organization for the development of roads and bridges in the country. The total length of National Highways in the country is about 54,000 KM, for which the ministry is responsible for planning and development. The executing agencies are various state governments for the respective length of national highways falling under their State.  The projects are funded in the annual budget by the central government and allocated to the various state governments. The state governments undertake the execution of the works on National Highways through Public Works Department (PWD). PWD carries out the routine maintenance through their permanent work force and development works like widening by inviting bids from civil contractors.


The ministry undertakes the multiple projects of 18 months to 30 months duration.

Main Theme of this Paper

  • Ministry has faced time and cost overruns during implementation of highways projects. We would examine the organization structure of MOT and how creation of project manager organization resolved those issues.
  • Communication challenges dealing with stakeholders and project Organization.
  • The practices of the organization to handle highways development and implementation of projects.


Identifying Client

The client is the Government of India - Ministry of Transport. The director general – road development has a permanent role as client who reports to secretary of govt. of India and the minister. The director general is responsible for the development of national highways in the country

Key tasks involved in Highway Development Projects - WBS

  • Preparation of Feasibility Report.
  • Preparation of Detailed Project Report and Bid documents.
  • Cutting and removal of trees clearing work sites.
  • Removal and relocation of utilities from the site.
  • Acquisition of additional land for realignment or widening of road
  • Invitation of bids and their evaluation.
  • Award of work and fixing executing agency (contractor).
  • Handing over the site to the executing agency free of all obstructions.
  • Supervision and monitoring of execution work.
  • Quality checks to ensure that work is executed as per specifications.
  • Taking over of completed work from the executing agency.


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