The National Highways Authority of India expects to award projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore for constructing about 6,500 km of highways in the current fiscal.
“We should be able to award projects for about 6,500 km and costing overall package size for about rupees one hundred thousand crore (in current fiscal),” National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman Raghav Chandra told reporters here.
The government is focussing on accelerating road construction and has taken a number of steps to double the pace at which highways are built in the country.
As part of the measures, the road ministry last month asked all its wings to act quickly to resolve disputes ailing the industry, which includes a call for developers to transfer cases under the new Arbitration Act.
When asked about arbitration payment norms, Chandra further said that NHAI has requisite funds for it.
“The government has assured us full support on that count. NHAI will be making payments for arbitral awards and likewise all other organisations for their respective place and we have certain operating procedures so that these can go through seamlessly and expeditiously,” he added.
The Union Cabinet in August allowed contractors to move to the new speedier arbitration process, approved release of 75 per cent of the amount in dispute against bank guarantee and provided for a conciliation board comprising independent domain experts in new contracts.
The NHAI Chairman further said that NHAI has not received the formal detailing from the contractors who have these arbitral awards in their favour.
“They need to submit bank guarantees and other such papers. So once they come in we will bring it on case by case basis,” he said.
Replying to another question, he said that “for next year we are already ensuring that we have enough DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) ready.”
There is a lot of work to be done but increasingly these projects are more complex and they require more of complex detailing before could be bid out, he said.
“So it is more time consuming but we are certainly moving towards that. We are very positive about action on this front,” he said.
When asked how many projects NHAI will award through hybrid annuity model in this fiscal, he said, “We have already awarded about 18 or 19 projects and we intend to bring more.”
NHAI has also chalked out a pilot project to end daily traffic snarls on the Delhi-Gurgaon National highway with use of latest digital technologies, including Intelligent Traffic Management system (ITMS), surveillance cameras and other digital devices. “The pilot project of decongesting traffic flow on Delhi-Gurgaon highway will soon be initiated and following its success will be implemented in other parts of the country. To decongest traffic on this stretch of National Highway 8 latest traffic management will be adopted including automatic vehicle, stop line violation detection and sensors that gauge traffic and communicate with stop lights,” Chandra said. Larry Andersen Authentic Jersey