National Highways Authority of India constructed/widened and strengthened 617 km of national highways to four/six/eight lanes during April-July 2015, which was 2.68 per cent lower than the target of 6,340 km for the period; but was 30.17 per cent higher than the achievement during this period a year ago. The state PWD and Border Road Organisation (BRO) have widened/strengthened 17.84 km to four/six/eight lanes and 139.10 km to two lanes. They have also strengthened 279.41 km of existing weak pavements. In addition they have also improved 163.58 km of riding quality. As part of up-gradation, 19 bridges were also rehabilitated/constructed against the target of 27 bridges for the period. During the corresponding period last year 13 bridges were rehabilitated/constructed.
The freight traffic carried by the Railways at 363.40 million tonnes was 8.15 per cent lower than the target of 395.63 million tonnes for the April-July period but 1.63 per cent higher than 357.56 million tonnes during the corresponding period of the previous year. The growth rate is lower than 4.24 per cent achieved during April-July 2014. During the period, loading of all commodities except iron ore, cement, foodgrain and container service recorded positive growth. As compared to the targets for the period, loading of all the commodities except fertilizers and mineral oil (POL) were lower. Total earnings (Passengers + Goods + Sundries & other coaching) were Rs.54,225 crore during April-July 2015, which was 12.67 per cent higher than the total earning of Rs.8,125 crore during April-July 2014.
The total cargo handled at the major ports increased 3.7 per cent during April-October, less than 4.6 per cent in this period of 2014-15. Among cargoes, iron ore loading declined 48 per cent and raw fertilizer 13 per cent, whereas finished fertilizer quantity shot up 30 per cent. Thermal coal loading increased 18 per cent during the first seven months of the ongoing fiscal. The major ports in the country handled 201.79 million tonnes cargo during April – July 2015 which was higher than the target for the period as well as the achievement during the corresponding period of the previous year by 30.84 per cent and 5.80 per cent respectively. The growth rate has been increased to 5.80 per cent compared to 3.32 per cent achieved during April-July 2014. All ports, except Vishakhapatnam and New Mangalore recorded positive growth.
Freight handled at the airports in the country increased by 10.3 per cent during October, and 6.3 per cent during April-October period to 15.82 lakh tones. This comprised international freight of 9.7 lakh tones (+6.6 per cent) and domestic freight of 6.12 lakh tones of domestic freight (+5.9 per cent). Passengers handled at the airports in the country went up 14.8 per cent in October and 16.5 per cent during April-October 2015. 12.47 crore passengers were handled at the airports comprising 9.40 crore domestic passenger (+19.7 per cent) and 3.07 crore international passengers (+7.7 per cent) over the period.
Public sector agencies added 14.847 lakh lines in the switching capacity of telephone exchanges at national level during April-July, against 19.423 lines in the corresponding period of the previous year. At all India level 4.90 lakh wired (fixed) phone were disconnected/surrendered, against 8.19 lakh connections in this period a year ago. The new cell phone (Mobile) connections of 143.222 lakh units were provided at all India level, against 142.523 lakh last year. During April – July 2015, total 138.32 lakh telephone connections (fixed + cellular) were provided by the public and private sectors, against 134.33 lakh connections in this period last year.